Asian Art Auction

Lot 232
Le Pho (1907-2001)

Oil on canvas

height 31.4" x width 23.1"
height 79.8 cm x width 58.7 cm

Est. $12000/15000
Realised: $36000
Auction Date: 11/28/2016

Provenance: Wally Findlay Galleries, New York

Note: Le Pho (1907 - 2001) Le Pho was born in 1907 in Hadong, a town to the South of Hanoi in North Vietnam. He was raised in a distinguished family as the son of Le Hoan, the Viceroy of Tonkin during the reign of Emperor Ham Nghi. Le Pho received a prestigious education, both at home and abroad, studying at École des Beaux-Arts in Hanoi before attending École des Beaux-Arts in Paris on a scholarship in 1932. While in Paris, Le Pho had the opportunity to study under Victor François Tardieu, a friend and companion of Matisse. This early exposure to both Eastern and Western influences and techniques became the foundation of Le Pho’s aesthetic. The confluence of these seemingly disparate styles is evident throughout his oeuvre, with Eastern and Western concepts reimagined and reworked into a striking synthesis. Le Pho’s works often depict stylized figures, floral stills, and lush gardens, rendered with a distinct, dreamlike elegance that is evocative of Impressionism. The current lot is an exquisite example of Le Pho’s artistry. A boy and his mother are sat amidst a lush and vibrant garden, the boy tenderly reaching for her hand. The foliage surrounds the pair, creating an intimate and sheltered space intended solely for them. The mother looks down affectionately, while the boy meets the gaze of the viewer. His glance breaks one’s passive observation of the scene, reminding us that we are the intruding observer. While diminutive, the young child is protective of his mother and of this sacred space they share. This piece offers at once a verdant impressionistic landscape, and a poignant illustration of the tender dynamic between mother and son. Le Pho’s subtle, sensitive and elegant technique is finely evidenced in this work, as is his characteristic synthesis of styles and genres.

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