Notable Asian Artworks To Bid On At Aguttes' First 2021 Sale

The 28th sale of "Peintres d'Asie, Œuvres majeures," opens the 2021 calendar for French auction house Aguttes. On March 8, at 11am in Neuilly-sur-Seine, West of Paris, a total of 30 works, hand-picked by expert Charlotte Aguttes-Reynier, will be presented - all curated by painters who came to France at the beginning of the 20th century. 

This selection bears witness to the talent of artists such as Lê Phổ, Vu Cao Dam, Mai Trung Thu, Trung  Phuc Duyen or Alix Aymé. Their works were at the genesis of a new art, imbued with the richness of  traditional Asian arts. 

These former students of the Indochina School of Fine Arts will be honored in sometimes unexpected  registers. Thus, two paintings on silk by Le Pho depict the seabed. This theme is extremely rare in the artist's work. The fish, often present in Asian culture, are seen in pairs. They evoke marriage and marital bliss, while the koi carp symbolizes wealth and success. With a skilful gesture, Le Pho depicts the subtle transparency of the fins and breathes an aerial movement into the algae. 

Lot 3 | Le Pho (1907-2001), Trois poissons  

Ink and color on silk, signed lower right 

Dimensions: 9 1/8 x 11 5/8 in.

Estimate: €50,000 - 80,000

Lot 2 | Le Pho (1907-2001), Quatre poissons  

Ink and color on silk, signed lower left 

Dimensions: 9 x 11 5/8 in. 

Estimate: €50,000 - 80,000

A magnificent work by Mai Thu, all in restraint, will also be unveiled in a delicate and intimate scene  whose accessories, the lacquered wooden box and jewellery decorated with jade, mark the painter's attachment to his Sino-Vietnamese origins. The composition, on the other hand, betrays his Western influences and the result presented to us today will undoubtedly arouse the interest of many collectors and amateurs.


Lot 1 | Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980), Le coffret à bijoux, 1960 

Ink and color on silk, signed and dated upper right

In the original frame, made by the artist 

Dimensions: 18 1/4 x 23 3/4 in. 

Estimate: €200,000 - 250,000


Lot 8 | Le Pho (1907-2001), Rudbeckias et eucalyptus dans un vase à pied large 

Oil on masonite, signed lower right 

Dimensions: 23 15/16 x 14 7/8 in. 

Estimate: €60,000 - 100,000 

Lot 9 | Le Pho (1907-2001), Fleurs de printemps dans un vase à pied 

Oil on masonite, signed lower right 

Dimensions: 36 1/4 x 23 5/8 in 

Estimate: €35,000 - 50,000 

In this floral register, we will also present the work Glaïeuls by Vu Cao Dam, who here magnifies his  subject with the finesse that ink on silk allows.


Lot 7 | Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), Glaïeuls, circa 1940

Ink and color on silk, signed lower right

Dimensions: 23 5/8 x 17 5/8 in. 

Estimate: €40,000 - 60,000


Lot 5 | Le Pho (1907-2001), Maternité circa 1940-1960 

Oil, ink and color on silk, signed lower right

Dimensions: 25 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. 

Estimate: €40,000 - 60,000 

With Maternité, Lê Phổ offers us, thanks to a delicate work on silk, a composition imbued with softness and created in the 1950s, testimony to a pivotal period in his work. This is followed by two works illustrating his so-called Findlay period, the name of the eponymous gallery that represented the artist for many years on the other side of the Atlantic. Lê Phổ sublimates here the art of floral composition, his favorite subject, by his virtuoso mastery of oil painting according to the Western method.

He expresses his admiration for the maternal figure in the painting, depicted with an almost religious gentleness.

Lot 10 | Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), Maternité, 1978 

Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, titled on the reverse 

Dimensions: 10 7/8 x 9 in. 

Estimate: €35,000 - 50,000 

Finally, going back to a more traditional theme, Vu Cao Dam raises with great modernity and in a more western style a magnificent rooster in all the colors. 

Lot 13 | Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), Coq 

Oil on panel, signed lower left 

Dimensions: 21 9/16 x 18 in.  

Estimate: €20,000 - 30,000 

We will also return to the subject of childhood, dear to Mai Thu, with a charming and tender performance entitled Brother and Sisters.


Lot 11 | Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980), Frères et sœurs, 1969 

Ink and color on silk, signed and dated lower left, titled and dated on reverse. In its original frame made by the artist.  

Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 13 in. 

Estimate: €30,000 - 50,000 

Moreover, in the pure tradition of Vietnamese arts, a lacquer of great finesse by the artist Tran Phuc Duyen will transport us into a marvelous dreamlike landscape.


Lot 4 | Tran Phuc Duyen (1923-1993), Biches, 1949 

Lacquer, signed and dated lower right 

Dimensions: 19 1/4 x 20 7/8 in. 

Estimate: €18,000 - 20,000 

This ancestral technique, which is the foundation of Vietnam's cultural identity and arts heritage, is praised by French artist Alix Aymé. She brings before our eyes in this sale on March 8, one of her wonderful creations of which she has the secret and featuring a beautiful young blonde woman. In addition to this medium that she taught in Hanoi, the artist excelled in painting on silk, which she also offers us here a work. 


Lot 17 | Alix Aymé  (1894-1989), Personnages dans la jungle 

Ink and color on silk, signed lower left 

Dimensions: 23 1/4 x 13 3/4 in. 

Estimate: €20,000 - 30,000 

This exhibition takes place until March 5, by appointment only.  

Auction Details:

Auction house: Aguttes

Sale: Peintres d'Asie, Œuvres majeures

Date: March 8, 2021 | 11am (GMT+1 Paris Time) / 6pm (GMT+8 Hong Kong Time)

Venue: 164 bis avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France

Preview: Please refer to the online catalog for more details