A Flood on Java


This view, showing people on a raft in a flooded river in central Java's Jawa Tengah province is the work of Raden Saleh (1807-80), who is regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the west Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life, painting landscapes, local aristocrats, and conceptions of Javanese history. Saleh’s paintings reflect the romanticism popular in Europe at the time, but also the influence of his own Indonesian culture and heritage. The work is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.

Last updated: September 18, 2015