Today: 08/12/2023 02:48:47 (GMT+7)

19 paintings by exiled Vietnamese king sold for $352,000

Nineteen paintings by King Ham Nghi were sold for a total of 330,000 euro (US$352,000).

"Bui Ram Duoi Hoang Hon" (The Bush In the Sunset) fetched the highest price out of the 19 paintings presented for auction in Paris by Lynda Trouvé auction house, at 38,000 euro. According to Tran Dai Thang, director of Dong A Publishing House, the painting’s selling price was higher than expected.

19 paintings, exiled Vietnamese king, King Ham Nghi, highest price, historical meaning, private collection, Nguyen dynasty

"Bui Ram Duoi Hoang Hon" (The Bush In the Sunset), painted by King Ham Nghi.

"Canh Dong Lua My" (The Wheat Field) was sold for 32,000 euro.

Thang attributed the interest in King Ham Nghi’s paintings to their historical meaning. All of the auctioned items were small-sized paintings on canvas and paperboard, showcasing the exiled king’s homesickness.

Lynda Trouvé said these were the only paintings by King Ham Nghi found in France. Thus, the auction was the first time the auction house held an auction for a series of paintings by King Ham Nghi.

The paintings belonged to a collector’s private collection. They were almost thrown away, before being recognized thanks to the king’s signature and the accompanying postcard which read "Lieutenant Colonel Henri Aubé, head of the Indochina Geology Department in Hanoi."

According to the auction house, Aubé and the king might have become acquainted through a mutual connection, Henri de Gondrecourt. Ham Nghi then gave Aubé the paintings as a symbol of friendship.

Beside King Ham Nghi’s collection of paintings, around 250 other artworks and artefacts from Indochina were also up for auction. Creations by other Vietnamese veteran painters, including Mai Trung Thu, Le Pho, Vu Cao Dam, Le Ba Dang, were also presented for sale.

Ham Nghi was the eighth of 13 kings of the Nguyen dynasty to rule in Hue, Annam, between 1802 and 1945. He was crowned in 1884 at the age of 13, but ruled for just one year before being deposed.

19 paintings, exiled Vietnamese king, King Ham Nghi, highest price, historical meaning, private collection, Nguyen dynasty

"Canh Dong Lua My" (The Wheat Field) by King Ham Nghi.

In 1888, he was exiled to Algeria, then a French colony. He was then allowed to leave Algeria and visit other countries, including France, under the supervision of the French government.

During his time in France, the former king studied art at a workshop run by Maurius Reynard, a well-known artist. He also studied sculpture.

Ham Nghi held three art exhibitions during his time in France, though he did not seek recognition from the public and rarely signed the paintings. He also never sold any of his paintings.

He died of cancer in 1943.

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Source: VnExpress

19 paintings, exiled Vietnamese king, King Ham Nghi, highest price, historical meaning, private collection, Nguyen dynasty
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