Hong Kong Auction House Removes Allegedly Fake Vietnamese Painting from Upcoming Auction
|The 'Nha Tranh Goc Mit' by Nguyen Van Ty at Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the museum|
Sotheby's Hong Kong auction house has withdrawn the painting 'Nha Tranh Goc Mit' (rough translation, 'Cottage By Jackfruit Tree') alongside the name of Vietnamese painter Nguyen Van Ty from the auction, pending further investigation, reported VnExpress Friday.
On its website, Sotheby's Hong Kong said the 'L'image traditionnelle d'une maison de paysan' painting has been withdrawn from the upcoming Modern Art Day Sale on Oct. 10.
It also sent a letter to Ace Le, a Vietnamese art curator living in Singapore, saying: "Sotheby’s has become aware of concerns over the authenticity of Nguyen Van Ty’s L'image traditionnelle d'une maison de paysan (Lot 778, Modern Art Day Sale, 10 October, 2021)."
"Sotheby’s takes issues of authenticity seriously, and will withdraw this work from auction and conduct further investigations," Le quoted on his Facebook page.
Le previously raised questions over the authenticity of the painting, which was later said to be a copy of Ty’s work by his daughter, painter Nguyen Binh Minh, former deputy director of Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.
|The 'L'image traditionnelle d'une maison de paysan' lacquer on Sotherby's Hong Kong website. Screenshot of website of the auction house|
The auction house had posted on its website a lacquered wooden screen titled 'L'image traditionnelle d'une maison de paysan' along with the name of Ty for an expected price of HKD 700,000-1,000,000 (US$ 89,000-128,500).
The site stated, "This work is comparable to 'L'image traditionnelle d'une maison de paysan' (1958) by Nguyen Van Ty."
According to Nguyen Anh Minh, director of Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, the museum bought the artwork 'Nha Tranh Goc Mit' (rough translation, 'Cottage By Jackfruit Tree') in 1960, after the lacquer painting won a prize at National Fine Arts Exhibition. The painting is currently kept and displayed here, he confirmed.
"My father didn't make a painting of a jackfruit tree like that. It's not allowed to associate his name with the artwork," Painter Nguyen Binh Minh, Ty's daughter, former deputy director of Vietnam Fine Arts Museum said, confirming the work being auctioned by Sotheby's is not authentic.
Ty's family said they had no intention of contacting Sotheby's, but simply wanted to inform the public about the incident.
They want the auction house to remove the work or not name Nguyen Van Ty.
Nguyen Van Ty (1917-1992) was born in Hanoi. He studied at the Indochina School of Fine Art from 1936 to 1941, along with Hoang Tich Chu and Nguyen Tien Chung, who were his classmates.
In 1936, he won the first prize at an exhibition organised by Annamese Association for the Encouragement of Art and Industry — a society of artists and artisans that operated from 1935 to 1939 with French artist Victor Tardieu as its first chairman.
Over the next few years, many of his works were sent abroad to be part of international exhibitions in France, Brussels, Indonesia and the U.S. In the summer of 1942, he visited and painted at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
A year later, as part of a cultural exchange with Japan, involving Japanese artist Fujita Tsuguhary, he was invited with Nam Son and Luong Xuan Nhi to research and exhibit in three Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Kobe.
In 1946, Ty became involved in the national resistance against the French colonialists. During that time, he wrote for newspapers, made propaganda posters and taught art students in Viet Bac.
On his return to Hanoi after the French resistance, he taught at the Vietnam Fine Arts College, a post that he held until 1969. He was also appointed as the first General Secretary of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association. His paintings were shown at exhibitions in the country, as well as in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In 1965, one of his painting carved on wood won the silver medal at an international exhibition for graphic arts in Leipzig, Germany.
Artist Ty died in Hanoi. He was posthumously awarded the Ho Chi Minh prize in 2000 for his lacquer painting series, including Nha Tranh Goc Mit (Rural House with Jackfruit Tree) in 1958; Bac Nam Thong Nhat (Unification of North and South) in 1961; and Phong Canh (Landscape) in 1991.
His works are part of the permanent collections of the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow and the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi.
|Sotheby's Hong Kong pulls artworks, 'La Thu' (The Letter) by To Ngoc Van and 'Hai Co Gai' (Resting Ladies) by Tran Van Can, as they were believed to be fake in 2019. Source: Viet Times|
Previously, in September 2019, Sotheby's Hong Kong pulled two artworks, 'La Thu' (The Letter) by To Ngoc Van and 'Hai Co Gai' (Resting Ladies) by Tran Van Can, as they were believed to be fake.
In 2016, Christie's in Hong Kong sold To Ngoc Van's 'Thuyen Tren Song Huong' (Boat On The Perfume River) for US$ 57,000 and Lady of Hue by Le Van De for US$ 89,000. However, Hanoi Fine Arts Museum also displays two identical paintings. The museum said they had bought Van's painting in 1965 and the other in 1976.
To Ngoc Thanh, Van's son, said the two paintings were copied many times, making it difficult to determine which picture is genuine.
‘Doi Song Gia Dinh’ (Family Life) by Le Pho, sold for US$ 1.1 million in 2017, was also said to be a fake version by many art experts.
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