Mai Trung Thu
Born in 1906 in Vietnam, Mai Trung Thu, known as Mai-Thu, studied at the French Lycée in Hanoi before joining the School of Fine Arts’ first year.
He was a professor of drawing from 1931 to 1937 in Hue, and participated in the 1937 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris. This trip was decisive for him and he decided to settle in France.
Although he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris as well as in various galleries, it was meeting Jean-François Apesteguy in the late 1950s that marked a turning point in his career as a painter and rocketed him to fame.
Like his contemporaries, he was divided between his European education and his attachment to traditional Asian art. His rigorous compositions and smooth, flawless rendering were a platform for expressing multiple reminiscences of traditional Asian iconography. His perfectionism r often led him to make his own frames.
Mai Thu combined a perfect, rigorous technical mastery of silk work with undeniable lyricism. His works often enabled him to express the pacifist beliefs he held dear.
Our evaluation of the painted work (i.e. the gouaches, inks, silk paints and oils) of Le Pho/Mai Thu/Vu Cao Dam enables us to assert the pictorial and technical quality of these paintings and thus meet the demands of collectors who are mostly located in Asia and have confidence in us. This evaluation is recommended before presentation at auction and before any estimates are given. Following this technical assessment, we give a positive or negative opinion about a work’s inclusion in the catalogue raisonné we are putting together.
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