With this valuation, the painting immediately entered the top 20 most expensive Vietnamese paintings of all time, ranking 15th alongside works by other renowned artists, such as Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Le Quoc Loc, To Ngoc Van, and more.

Vietnamese painter Nguyen Phan Chanh’s work "Nguoi hat dan ca" (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

"Nguoi hat dan ca" was created by Nguyen Phan Chanh in 1930 using oil on a large canvas, measuring 90.5x102.5 cm. The painting depicts two women wearing traditional traditional Vietnamese flat palm hat, holding paper hand fans, dressed in traditional attire, and on their barefoot in a rural Vietnamese setting, dominated by brown hues. The work offers viewers a deep insight into everyday life in early 20th-century Vietnam.

Previously, the painting was known only through archival records and exhibitions in Hanoi (1930) and Paris (1931). It was later acquired by a French couple who passed it down through generations. Recently, the painting was discovered at the home of one of their grandchildren in rural France before being brought to auction.

Translated by Chung Anh