École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine

The École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine was opened in Hanoi in 1924 by Frenchman Victor Tardieu and Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Văn Thọ (aka Nguyen Nam Son), acting on behalf of the French government. It aimed to train artists and teachers of drawing. The curriculum was supposed to combine Western art with Far-Eastern traditions, with the teaching modelled on that of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Topics taught included life drawing, linear perspective, open-air painting, and oil painting, all of which were new for Vietnamese students and completely different from their own tradition. The school also taught Far Eastern art history and techniques, such as silk painting and lacquer painting. Those Vietnamese painters who chose oil painting accepted a completely new medium. It was the precursor to the Vietnam Fine Arts College (1957) and Vietnam University of Fine Arts (1981).