Le Pho (Vietnam/France, 1907-2001) oil painting on silk mounted on masonite titled "Jeunes Filles aux Bouquets," c. 1950s. The painting depicts three young women among vases filled with flowers, before a golden-yellow background. The figures at left and center carefully arrange the bouquets while the figure at right turns her back to the viewer as she gazes into the distance. Signed "Le Pho" in cursive and Chinese, lower right. With Arthur Lenars & Cie., Paris, shipping label addressed to Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, en verso. (Findlay is the American gallery most closely associated with Le Pho). Housed in a carved, giltwood Louis XIV-style frame with fabric mat and brass title/nameplate. With title inscribed en verso along with Lenars shipping label addressed to "FIND 93 CHICAGO." Numbered en verso "4722," upper left, and "No. 3," upper right. Board: 23" H x 35 3/4" W. Frame: 30 1/4" H x 43" W. Biographical note: Le Pho is celebrated for his unique style of painting, blending European influences including Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with Asian artistic traditions, especially Chinese painting. He was among the earliest graduates of the Indochina Fine Arts College, now Vietnam University of Fine Arts, which was set up in 1925 by French painter Victor Tardieu, a friend and colleague of Henri Matisse. Le Pho received a scholarship to study at the Paris National College of Fine Arts. In 1932 he returned to Vietnam to teach before setting off for Beijing, where he became immersed in Chinese artistic traditions. When he left China he had the artistic knowledge needed to develop his own particular artistic style with which he would make his name in France. By 1950, now living in Paris, Le Pho began working in oil on canvas, striking a delicate balance between Chinese painting and French Post-Impressionism. Yet the images he painted focus on traditional Vietnamese subject matter like bamboo branches, birds and especially women with flowers or wearing ao dai. (Adapted from Vietnam News Agency). Note: This painting was featured on Antiques Roadshow in 2014, evaluated by Colleene Fesko, season 20 episode 28: https://www.pbs.org/video/antiques-roadshow-appraisal-le-pho-oil-silk-ca-1950/ . Prequalification is required to bid on this lot. Please contact the auction house by 4 pm EST on Weds. July 6 to make bidding arrangements.
Scattered areas of fine craquelure, primarily in areas of thickly applied paint, which has resulted in flaking, including to leftmost yellow flower in the central bouquet. Ultraviolet light reveals spots of possible inpainting not visible with the naked eye, most prominent in upper left quadrant, behind the head of the figure at left.
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Arthur Lenars & Cie, Paris, France. Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, Illinois.