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Đào Sĩ Chu (1911-1974) was a Vietnamese painter who studied in France and was known for following the traditional style of the EBAI school.[1] He was also an organizer of art exhibitions and writer on the history of art.[2]

Đào Sĩ Chu, 1952 in Hà Nội


Early life, education and influencesEdit

Đào Sĩ Chu[3] was born on September 20, 1911, Hà Nội, Việt Nam, from an intellectual family. His father Đào Huống Mai was an industrialist and one of his sisters was the renowned pre-war poet Vân Đài, Đào Thị Nguyệt Minh.

Finishing his secondary classes in Lycée Albert-Sarraut, his family sent him to study pharmacy at the University of Toulouse, France and at that time, painting was only his hobby. After graduating as a 1st grade Pharmacist (pharmacien de 1ère classe) in 1939, he had initial contacts with well-known artist painters of Hànội such as Trần Bình Lộc, Lê Phổ, and Tô Ngọc Vân who were graduates of l'École des beaux arts de l'Indochine (EBAI) for first painting techniques and therefore, he was influenced by the EBAI school.


During his travels in 1949-1951 and visiting many Fine Arts Museums in France, he devoted himself to fine arts and determined to study painting in a private workshop. His first exhibition with Lê Bá Đẚng was at Vibaud Galerie and his paintings received appreciative comments from the art magazines Les Ponts des Arts and Le Cri de Paris for his color composition and portrait skills. Heartened by his initial success, his other paintings were exhibited consecutively at Grand Palais and Salon des Artistes Independants in Paris where he was a member of the Societe des Artistes Independants.[4]

Portrait of Mme DSChu oil panel from family's album

Back in Viêt Nam, he set up his private and permanent exhibition room Liên Hương in Hà Nội for his colleagues paintings and often participated in other exhibitions organised in the Opera House of Hà Nội.

Awarded the Golden Medal at the Sàigòn Exhibition in 1955, he was appointed to be the Chairman of the National Cultural Conference(1957)[5] for promoting the next cultural movements and events as the annual Spring Painting Award (1959) and then, the First International Exhibition of Fine Arts of Sàigòn (October 1962)[6] of which he was Delegate and Secretary General.[7]

In an interview, he said " Art should be a creation. Although, there are many tendencies in Realism and Impressionism, I believe that the future will belong to Cubism, non-figurative and abstracts arts, however I prefer realism-impressionism oil painting ".[8]

His typical oil painting of Thủ Đức landscape was printed on March page in the Calendar 1959 of the United States of Information Service (USIS).[9]

Thủ Đức landscape oil copy of USIS Calendar 1959

From the years 1960 - 1970, he was Professor of the École supérieure des Beaux Arts de Gia Định. He served as Professor and Fine Arts Advisor of Minh Đức Catholic University until his death in June 16, 1974 (Giáp Dần).

Critics and tributesEdit

After 1975, his theories were criticized by Nguyễn Phi Hoanh, artist painter (1904 - 2001), a graduate of l'École des beaux arts of Toulouse, author of the book Mỹ Thuật Việt Nam (Fine Arts of Viêt Nam), published by Nhà Xuất Bản Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh in November 1984.[10]

In the late 1990s, two exhibitions were organized by two private galleries of Trương Văn Ý and Bùi Quốc Chí of Đức Minh VN Collection for famous painters of Việt Nam, including some of Đào Sĩ Chu's paintings.[11]

April 2002, his painting Young Girl Feeding Chicken (1974) appeared in an auction sale of Sotheby's Singapore.[12] A second auction was organised in France in October, 2009, including one Đào Sï Chu painting, Jeune Femme Pensive (painted in 1962).[13]

In the Viet Nam Museum of Fine Arts, among the contemporary arts, there are nine Dao Si Chu paintings.[14]

From October 2014, a painting of Đào Sĩ Chu could be seen at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts .[15][16]

Original sketches and painting of Young Girl Feeding ChickenEdit

This painting was executed by Đào Sĩ Chu in December 1968 and the one in Sotheby's Catalogue April 2002 is only a version which also painted by himself in 1974 as some gifts for his close friends. The face of the young girl is his niece Mai (Đào Lê Như Mai).

Sketch of Young girl feeding chicken, pencil on paper 16x21, 07/12/1968
Original painting of Young Girl feeding chicken, oil on silkcardboard 46x38, Noël 1968
Sketch of niece Mai, pencil on paper 16x21, 05/10/1973


  1. ^ Tony Day, Maya H. T. Liem Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia 2010 Page 88 "The established traditions of EBAI prevailed through the late 1950s to early 1960s... especially marked among those graduates who later formed the Society of Saigonese Young Artists. ... who were deeply rooted traditionalists, included artists such as Tú Duyên, Nguyễn Anh, Nguyễn Siên, and Lưu Đình Khải, as well as graduates from France like Nguyễn Khoa Toàn, Đào Sĩ Chu, Văn Đen, Nguyễn Sao and Trần Quang Hiếu, to mention a few.
  2. ^ de Ménonville/.../2906755 Corinne de Ménonville La peinture vietnamienne: une aventure entre tradition et modernité 2003 "Dans le comité organisateur et les différentes commissions, on relèvera les noms d'artistes tels que Dao Si Chu, Thanh Le, ... Dao Si Chu, dans sa préface, fait une sorte de synthèse de l'histoire de l'art en montrant toute la difficulté d'être moderne ("Toutes les méthodes ou techniques de la peinture moderne ne sont pas franchement trouvées..")
  3. ^ Some newspapers and magazines wrote Đào Sỹ Chu, Tuổi Trẻ Newspaper on May 6, 1992 and March 10, 1998
  4. ^ catalogue of 69th exhibition in 1958, page D/64-65, 873-874
  5. ^ Đào Sĩ Chu, 1957, Bàn Về Hội Họa Việt Nam (Essay on Vietnamese Painting) p. 152-173, published by Xã Hội Ấn Quán
  6. ^ First International Exhibition of Fine Arts of Saigon, p.30 (1962)
  7. ^ Mỹ thuât hiên đại Viêt Nam = L'art contemporain vietnamien /. Hanoi :: Fine Arts Publishers,. 1990.
  8. ^ Đào Sĩ Chu interviewed by Duy Thanh, Sáng Dội Miền Nam magazine, No1 (7),1960, p.5
  9. ^ 32, page 231: Đào Sĩ Chu, Thủ Đức, 1959, a print of an original oil painting in 1959 Calendar sponsored by The American Department of Information, photograph by Boi Tran Huynh.
  10. ^ Mỹ_thuật_Việt_Nam.html?id... - Nguyễn-Phi-Hoanh - Google Books, Chapter XI, p. 274-277
  11. ^ Extracts from Tuổi Trẻ Newspaper on May 6, 1992 and March 10, 1998
  12. ^ 33, page 231: Đào Sĩ Chu, Young Girl Feeding Chicken, 1974, oil, 45 x 38 cm, (Sotheby’s Catalogue April 2002). Robert Bezuijen owned the painting and released it for auction
  13. ^ [1] jeune-femme-pensive[dead link]
  14. ^ [25 thg 6, 2011 - Báo Nhân Dân, Nổi lo tuổi thọ tranh sơn dầu: Bảo tàng Mỹ thuật Việt Nam (BTMTVN) thành lập từ năm 1966, trải qua hiện có khoảng 20.000 hiện vật và tác phẩm mỹ thuật giá trị trải dài từ cổ đại đến hiện đại, ... trong đó có chín bức tranh của hoạ sĩ Đào Sĩ Chu không ghi năm sáng tác cụ thể cũng được xếp vào danh sách tranh cận đại.]
  15. ^ peintures-a-lhuile-du-musee-des-beaux-arts-de-ho-chi-minh-ville/122904.html Les peintures à l'huile du Musée des beaux-arts de Hô Chi Minh-ville, Le Courrier du Vietnam en 18 Octobre, 2014
  16. ^ [2] gtbosuutap/phong-canh-dao-si-chu/

External linksEdit

  • Title, Vietnamese Aesthetics from 1925 Onwards. Author, Boi Tran Huynh. Publisher, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, 2005. Length, 836 pages, chapter 4, pages 196 - 231.
  • [3] The First International Exhibition of Fine Arts of Saigon (October 1962)
  • [4] Mỹ thuât hiên đại Viêt Nam = L'art contemporain vietnamien
  • [5] Mỹ thuật Việt Nam - Nguyễn-Phi-Hoanh - Google Books
  • [6] les-peintures-a-lhuile-du-musee-des-beaux-arts-de-ho-chi-minh-ville/122909.html
  • [7] gtbosuutap/phong-canh-dao-si-chu
  • [8] artists/47256—dao-si-chu
  • [9] artist/263153/.../jeune-femme-pensive