Mai Trung Thứ
(1906 – 1980)
A graduate of the first class of the École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine in Hanoi, Mai Trung Thứ developed a highly recognisable painting style in silk, centred around genteel representations of women and children. In 1937 Mai Trung Thứ took part in an exhibition in France, eventually settling there for most of the rest of his life. Mai Thứ was a film-maker and musician, often depicting vignettes of filmic narratives in his works. Music was also never far from his paintings, with women often pictured with musical instruments. By 1938, Mai Thứ was already creating works that celebrated folk themes and the innocence of rural Vietnam. Indeed these works belie a poetic vision of an elegant era where women and children were the quintessential harbingers of happiness and innocence.