Les premiers pas (The first steps)
Les premiers pas (The first steps)


Les premiers pas (The first steps)
LE THI LUU (Vietnamese, 1911-1988)
signed 'Le Thi Luu' (lower right); titled 'Les premiers pas' (on the stretcher); signed and inscribed 'LE-THI-LUU 10 Imp. Josphine Gentilly' (on the reverse)
92 x 73 cm. (36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in.)
oil on canvas
Painted circa 1960
Property from the collection of Ngo Manh Duc, son of Le Thi Luu
Sale room notice
Please note that the correct medium of Lot 554 is oil on canvas.

Brought to you by

Eric Chang
Eric Chang

Lot Essay

Born in Tho Khoi, Ha Bac Province in 1911, Le Thi Luu joined the Fine Arts School of Indochina in 1927 and graduated in 1932. She developed a strong friendship with Le Pho, Mai Thu, and Vu Cao Dam as well as with her favorite teacher Victor Tardieu. She was on a trip to France when the country was on the verge of war. Circumstances guided her life and her artistic career. As the Suez Canal was blocked by warring forces, she had no way of returning to Vietnam. With her husband and their son, they settled near Paris, in Gentilly after a sojourn in Africa.

Executed in 1932, Jeune Tonkinoise (Lot 553) illustrates perfectly her early classical style of painting with a romantic flavour. The same romance prevails in the beautifully composed oil on canvas, Les premiers pas (The first steps) (Lot 554). Her use of soft pastel tones, reminiscent of gouache and ink on silk, shows her expertise in painting.

Le Thi Luu traveled extensively in her new homeland and increasingly fell in love with it as she made more discoveries. Inspired, she painted rare portraits like Pyrenean couple (Lot 555) of local people in the Pyrenees in the south of France, showing her affinity for careful and accurate observation of human subjects.

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