Vu Cao Dam, though of Vietnamese origin, painted in Paris for eighteen full years. That period from 1931-1949 allowed Vu Cao Dam to absorb all of the charm and artistic inspiration that Paris had to offer, and enabled him to marry that European influence with his signature Vietnamese style of painting.
Vu Cao Dam was born in 1908 in Hanoi, North Vietnam. He began his formal education at l’École des Beaux Arts in Hanoi, and when he was twenty-three he was awarded a scholarship that allowed him to study and travel in Paris. He stayed in the City of Lights until 1949, when he left for the south of France. Vu Cao Dam became so enraptured with the magic of France that he made it his permanent home.
He dreamed of trying to bring Indo-Chinese painting back into a place of prominence and believed that he could combine the traditions of the past and the qualities of Occidental paintings in order to accomplish that dream. He firmly believed that such a synthesis was possible, and his own paintings clearly demonstrate the delicate balance that he was able to strike between the two types of art.
Vu Cao Dam focused his talent on figure painting, with the exception of the occasional landscape. The women, young girls, folklore, and poetry of Vietnam are his favorite subjects. The women Vu Cao Dam paints become embodiments of the enduring beauty of womanhood and motherhood.
Record Price Achieved at Auction
Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Important Collection of Vietnamese Paintings featuring the Philip Ng Collection
April 8, 2008