The Bodhisattva Collection

A Superb Original Indonesian Barong Dance Painting

A Superb Original Indonesian Barong Dance Painting

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Acrylic: Pre 2000: Item # 1062971
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From our Southeast Asia Collection, a superb original and signed acrylic painting on canvas depicting an Indonesian Barong Dance. Though this particular piece does not share the same museum provenance as our other Barong Dance offering (see item # 938720), we think it is at least of equal merit. Some may even think it is superior. In any case, both are superb examples.

The Barong Dance is one of those wonderful and almost magical expressions of Indonesian mythology, where themes of good and evil are pitted against one another through a cultural tale played out as a dance. According to the tale, an evil sorceress named Rangda summons her army to go after Erlangga, the King of Bali in the 10th century. She casts a spell upon Erlangga's troops that causes them to attempt killing themselves, which is what the depiction of the soldiers impaling themselves with their own keris (an Indonesian short sword) is meant to convey in the lower left corner of the painting here. But Erlangga is able to summon Barong for help, who casts his own spell that makes Erlangga's soldiers impervious to their own keris. Ultimately, Ranga is defeated, and good triumphs over evil.

Aside from the fascinating bit of folklore captured in this painting, it is also a tour de force from a technical perspective. This painting, like the other example, is executed on a very thick and heavy gauge ribbed canvas, which ordinarily does not lend itself to detailed painting. But the artist here has managed to render a very intricately detailed depiction that transcends what is usually achievable in this medium.

Size and Condition: Framed dimensions: 33 inches wide, 29 inches tall. Image size: 26 inches wide, 22 inches tall. Perfect condition.