Vu Cao Dam’s portrait of a girl with books – €390,000 (£336,210) at Ivoire Reims.

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Many artists from what is now Vietnam enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts d’Indochine established in Hanoi in 1924 by Victor Tardieu and went on to live in or visit France. Former alumni include now well-known names such as Le Pho, Vu Cao Dam and Mai Trung Thu – whose work is much in demand.

Girl power

At a sale held by Ivoire Reims (20% buyer’s premium) on July 3, a Vietmanese collector prevailed against a bidder from Hong Kong to carry off a portrait by Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000) for €390,000 (£336,210), well in excess of the €200,000-250,000 estimate.

The 3ft x 2ft (90 x 62cm) painting, which had been consigned from a local family, was executed, like many of these Indo-Chinese paintings, in ink and colours on silk and depicts a traditionally costumed young woman kneeling next to a pile of books.

It was signed and had a seal in red halfway down the right-hand side.

Lê Thi Luu (1911-88) was another Ecole des Beaux- Arts d’Indochine student and one of her paintings featured in the Asian sale held by Ader (28% buyer’s premium inc VAT) on June 29 where it made €170,000 (£146,550) against a guide of €40,000-60,000.


Lê Thi Luu’s portrait of a girl braiding her hair – €170,000 (£146,550) at Ader.

The 2ft 1in x 19in (63 x 48 cm) ink and gouache painting on silk, depicting a young girl rebraiding her hair, was signed and sealed upper left.

It featured in an exhibition in 1961 at the Salon de l’Union des Femmes Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs in Paris where the artist showed three paintings.

This one is thought to have been acquired by the gallery Le Chapelin on the Rue St Honoré.

The Indo-Chinese rickshaw offered in the same sale and previewed in ATG No 2498 sold for €10,000 against an estimate of €5000-6000.