Le tricot, 1941
Ink and color on silk, signed and dated
lower left, signed and monogramed lower right
65,5 x 40,5 cm - 25 3/4 x 15 7/8 in.
LƯƠNG XUÂN NHỊ
Luong Xuan Nhi was born in Hanoi in 1914, and studied at the Hanoi Fine Arts School with the painters Nguyen Nam Son and Victor Tardieu. He was one of the first artists to use oils in Vietnam. He is a major figure in the Vietnamese art history of the 20th century. He is often called «the master of greens» for his skilful use of this colour in his landscapes, and «the painter of beauty» for his highly acclaimed portraits of young women. Throughout his career, he evinced a genuine attachment to the values of classical painting.
Marked by the precepts of his Western education, Luong Xuan Nhi excels in the representation of a traditional Vietnam. The knitting scene offers a sensitive look at daily life where the woman occupies a central place. With a fine and delicate line, the artist sublimates this young woman sitting on her knees, barefoot, peacefully knitting. The elegance of her ao dai, the gold necklace and her delicate hairstyle bear witness to her social status. Her modest smile, similar to the Leonardo da Vinci Monna Lisa, and her finely made-up eyes underline the natural beauty of the model. The soft tones contribute to the delicacy of the composition. If the artist gives us a rare testimony of the daily life of Vietnam in the 1940s, it is above all an ode to the women of his country that is embodied under his talented brush. His dexterity ensured him the gold medal at the exhibition of the Annamite Society for the encouragement of art and industry in Hanoi in 1936.