Since the foundation of the Au Lac kingdom three centuries ago - famous for their bronze drums and their magnificent artilleries - until the works of the painters from the École des Beaux-Arts of Indochina, created in Hanoi in 1925, the arts of Vietnam have been marked by their profoundly original cultures and the fusion between Asia and the Occident. The modern Vietnamese civilisation has therefore inherited a very rich and multifaceted history. Long forgotten during the civil unrest of the late 20th century, the Vietnamese arts have remained largely unrecognised. Recent years however have seen artistic culture begin to blossom again and new discoveries are being made. In this book, the authors have chosen to present these findings in a historical perspective, situating them at the heart of a twice-millennial tradition. A particular work has been realised on the iconography, associating views of some remarkable landscapes - many in the country that shelters Ha Long Bay - the negatives of a Vietnamese photographer, scenes of the life in the countryside, and pictures of civilian and religious monuments. The art objects have been chosen among the ones preserved not only in the Vietnamese museums but also in the European museums and private collections.
Catherine Noppe, Far-Eastern art curator at the Royal Museum of Mariemont (Belgium), is an art historian and an archaeologist. Her present investigations have concentrated on the last villages of potters near the delta of the Red River, which is enabling her to study, at the same time, the traditional architecture of the communal houses. Jean-François Hubert, Senior Consultant at Christie's, is a specialist of the arts of China and South-East Asia. His present research has concentrated on Vietnamese ceramics, 20th-century Vietnamese painting, and on the Cham sculptures.
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