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Vietnam Painting - The Art of War Initiative

Vietnam Painting


n no other culture has the aesthetic of nature and landscape played a more vital role in the arts than Asia. Asian landscape paintings, such as this work, gifted by Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Chau in 1962, embody Asia’s rich artistic tradition and culture in regards to the aesthetics of nature and landscape. Landscape paintings such as this are held in high regard among Asian culture, where they consider landscapes much more than a mere representation of the external world. Rather, an expression of the spirit of the artist and their artistic culture.

This exquisite representation of greenery and insects, the balance of flowers and leaves, meticulously rendered in shades of lavender, yellow, green and gold bespeaks their interest in landscape and nature. The picture was made from a lacquer process filled with eggshells and chips and oyster shells. Note too, the woman in the central foreground, surrounded by the lush bed of flowers and greenery. The serene nature around her effectively captures the spirit of the woman. This is the aim of the traditional Asian landscape artist, to capture not only the outer appearance of a subject/landscape but capture its inner essence as well, its energy and spirit; the use of highly illusionistic colors meant to further evoke this sense of spirit. This gift from Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Chau is a representation of Asia’s long-standing interest in landscape and nature and their cultures reference to spirit.


Gifting Country: Republic of Vietnam
Style/Tradition: Asian Art
Date: Early 20th Century
Medium: Lacquer with egg shells, chips and oyster shells
Size: 24” x 32”
Credit Line: Gift of Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Chau, 1962.


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