Vietnam fails to buy Emperor Ham Nghi’s art piece

Published: 26/11/2010 05:00



Vietnam failed to buy Déclin du jour (Sunset), a painting by exiled Vietnamese emperor Ham Nghi (1872-1943), at a Paris auction this week, the Center for Preservation of Hue city Relics said Thursday.

The painting Déclin du jour went on auction Wednesday at the starting price of US$1,600 and was finally sold at $11,700 to an anonymous winning person who bid via telephone, said Nguyen Van Phuc, head of external department of Center for Preservation of Hue’s Relics.

The oil painting was exhibited at No 5 Avenue d’Eylau in Paris and at the Drouot Hotel before going on the auction. This was the second time the emperor’s work has been displayed in public since his debut exhibition in Paris, 84 years ago.

The Emperor painted the piece (35×46cm) in 1915 while he was living in the Gia Long Villa in the capital of Alger, in Algeria.

He was the eighth Emperor in Vietnam’s Nguyen Dynasty. He ruled the country for only one year (1884-85). Ham Nghi along with two kings Thanh Thai and Duy Tan orchestrated several revolts to fight against the French colonists. In 1885, he led the large-scale Can Vuong uprising against French rule.

Ham Nghi was arrested by the French and exiled to Algeria in 1888. He died in 1943 and was buried in Aquitaine, France in 1965.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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