Vietnamese lacquer painting fetches nearly US$1 mln at French auction

‘Hoi Dinh Chem’, a lacquer painting by Nguyen Van Ty, has fetched EUR832,000 (US$972,000) at a French auction, a record price for a Vietnamese artwork in Europe.

The work, whose name translated into "Chem Village Festival", is a 98x245 cm lacquer painting with five panels created in 1942, Drouot, the auction house, said.

It had been bought by a French surgeon who worked at the army hospital in the northern city of Hai Phong from 1928 to 1947. It was later kept by his family in Paris.

The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi has another version of the work with three panels while a third has only one panel.

Ty (1917 - 1992) graduated from the Indochina College of Fine Arts and was part of the generation of Vietnam’s great lacquer artists.

The Drouot auction also featured works by other Vietnamese painters like Mai Thu, Le Pho and Le Thi Luu.