So my mom sent me a bunch of pictures of Early Twentieth Century Vietnamese Painters’ works the other day. It may not be the first time she has done so, but it was really the first time that I started to pay attention to them, and my thought was “how beautiful!”
Most of them have a simplistic feeling which is certainly influenced by the popular Japanese and Chinese traditional paintings in the Far East. But because Vietnam’s French Colonial history, they also have a Western’s approach to it. Such are Romanticism and Impressionism, or even Gauguin’s Orientalism could be a distant cousin.
For the course of this post, I will mainly focus on Lê Phổ.
Lê Phổ is a Vietnamese painter who was born 1907 in Hanoi. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 30s. His paintings are rather romantic and elegant with soft glowing colors but definitely not foggy. His choice of medium was silk.
Sap Tet (‘Almost Lunar New Year’) – by Le Pho
Buc Man Tim (‘The Purple Veil’) – By Le Pho – 1942-45
Chan Dung Thieu Phu va Hoa Sen (‘Portrait of a Young Woman and Lotus’) – by Le Pho – 1939
Hai Cay Thuoc (‘Harvesting Herbs’) – by Le Pho – 1932