Lam Dong

Lam Dong is recorded in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists as having been born in Canton in 1920 and then, at some stage, becoming a French artist, a member of the Salon des Artistes Francaises; no date of death is recorded, although his studio was dispersed at auction in 1996, an event that indicates the artist must have died some time earlier. There is not much else that we know about him, and although we would like to fill the gaps with tales of arduous emigration and Parisian romantic hardships, all we have is this group of drawings, but these are indeed unique. Obviously spanning several decades, certainly the 1950s and 1960s, all were executed during life drawing classes. Lam Dong sketched both the model and his fellow draughtsmen and women; his style combines in a unique way the precise and inspired stroke of Chinese calligraphy with an apparently easy, sensual line derived from Matisse. In this respect they might be considered as a pioneering effort to mix two great traditions harmoniously: they are little gems in their own right, and they make quite interesting, unusual gifts.

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