Lot 148

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(French/Vietnamese, 1907-2001) signed center left. Oil on silk laid down on board. C 1946-1962 in the Romanet period. Stamped and labeled, "Galerie Romanet" on the verso. The work also bears an exportation stamp and written in script "No. 516 40P and Le Couture".
Overall: 38"h x 48-3/4"w
Sight: 28-1/2"h x 39"w
Provenance: Galerie Romanet, Paris, France

Property from a Private Princeton, NJ Collection.

According to the lot essay in Christie's 25 May 2014, lot 354 catalogue entry, "If we consider Le Pho's work over his life (1907-2001), three periods appear, each with a distinct history and style. The first period from the late 1920s until 1945 is qualified as Le Pho's early works. The second period, 1946-1962, is named the Romanet period after his representing gallery, Galerie Romanet; and finally, the Findlay period from 1963 to his death in 2001, again named for his gallery, Wally Findlay Galleries from the USA.

Each of these three periods represent very distinct styles, and their respective monikers also indicate aesthetic and medium differences, not only in terms of gallery representation or chronology.

During the first period, we can see the emancipation of a very young and brilliant talent: already his work created at the "Ecole des Beaux-Arts" in Hanoi under the supervision of Victor Tardieu (1870-1937), was successful and recognized by collectors and institutions. Not to mention his iconic silks, subtle in both composition and tones, made after his first visit to Europe including Paris (1931-1932). Or his few lacquers, technically beautiful, though which he had to abandon due to an allergy to lacquer. Regretfully this period of enthusiasm, creativity, discovery of new techniques and new countries was frozen during the Second World War.

The Romanet period is charged with the loss of stability in human and international events: Le Pho's silk employed the same techniques as before but his colors shifted as if, through more intensity, the work needed to narrate instead of being just descriptive; the painter became more conflicted; the Confucian softness gave way to the harshness of the times. The memory of the war years, Nazi
barbarism, combined with the state of civil war in Vietnam, the decolonization and its aftermath: so many questions troubled the painter who finally migrated to Paris for good in 1937. Romanet was the name of the
French gallerist who always advised Le Pho and helped him exhibit his work for many years.

In 1963, Le Pho (with his friend Vu Cao Dam) signed a near-exclusive contract with the well known North American gallerist, Wally Findlay. Findlay re-orientated the style of the painter, first, in encouraging him towards certain trends which he developed in the early 50s and, secondly, by modernizing his oeuvre."

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September 13, 2023 10:00 AM EDT
Bloomfield , NJ, US

Nye & Company

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