The Bodhisattva Collection

A Superb Indonesian Barong Dance Painting, ex Museum

A Superb Indonesian Barong Dance Painting, ex Museum

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Directory: New Century: Paintings: Pre 2000: Item # 938720
The Bodhisattva Collection
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New Windsor
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From our Southeast Asia Collection, a superb original and signed acrylic painting on canvas depicting an Indonesian Barong Dance, deaccessioned from the Agung Rai Museum in Ubud, Bali in 1997.

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 soldier impaling himself with his own keri (an Indonesian short sword) is meant to convey in the upper right 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 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.

Framed dimensions: 28 1/2 inch wide, 21 1/2 inches tall; Image size 24 1/2 inches wide, 17 1/4 inches tall. Perfect condition.