Phan Kế An

Phan Kế An (Hà Tĩnh Province 20 March 1923), also known as Phan Kích, is a Vietnamese painter. He is the son of Phan Kế Toại (1892-1973) a senior mandarin and former vice prime minister of North Vietnam.

He studied at Bưởi school with famous teachers such as Lê Thị Lựu, Tô Ngọc Vân, and Nguyễn Tường Lân.[1] He enrolled into the École des Beaux Arts de l'Indochine in 1944, but then joined the Việt Minh guerillas before graduating. In November 1948 he spent 3 weeks with Hồ Chí Minh and his advisors producing 20 portraits.[2]

He was asked by General Secretary Trường Chinh to join Sự thật newspaper (the predecessor of Nhân Dân newspaper), where he was completely free to cover any topic he wanted, which was very rare at the time. He contributed by drawing political cartoons, aiming mostly at French and American imperialism and also at Ngô Đình Diệm (even before his rise to power).[3] He continued painting throughout the Vietnam War to criticize the American bombing of Hanoi.[4]



  1. Lý (2010): p. 46
  2. Witness Collection Biography - Phan Kế An "In November 1948, An was taken to live secretly for three weeks in the countryside with Hồ Chí Minh and his closest advisors. During that period, he produced a series of formal and candid portraits. He made about 20 portraits of the leader which were eventually published in Sự Thật (‘The Truth’) newspaper."
  3. Lý (2010): p. 47
  4. Lý (2010): p. 49
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