Lot 063

b. Indonesia, 1919 - d. 1996


Signed and dated 'Dullah 76' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
60cm x 49cm

Private Collection; acquired through Christie’s Amsterdam, Indonesian Art, Amsterdam, 16 March 2004, lot 62.

ESTIMATE  RM 9,000 - 12,000


Dullah was well known as a master portrait artist with no equal in Indonesia. This self-taught artist admitted that Affandi and S.Sudjojono were his great teachers, but in fact his creations which obviously followed the school of realism were quite divergent to the works of the above two great masters. Since the early days of the independence, Dullah was very close to Soekarno, the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. In 1949, Dullah led a group of young artists to show live battle scenes during the war of Indonesia’s independence against the Dutch. The works were exhibited at the Legermuseum in Holland. The exhibition gained great interests and the works were documented in the book Karya dalam Peperangan dan Revolusi (1978).

Dullah was also appointed by Soekarno to care for all of the President’s art collections and was mandated to be curator of the state painting collections. He often accompanied the president on his trips here at home as well as abroad. Consequently, Dullah moved to his hometown Solo and settled there with his family, but spent most of his creative time in Bali together with a group of his pupils. The group settled in Ubud and then moved to Pejeng. Dullah also ran an art gallery in Mas where most of his good works were on display for sale. The present lot depicts the artist’s mastery in combining proportion and feeling to give a narrative element in his work.

At the age of 70, Dullah built his museum in Solo without any financial support from the government or other private institutions. This museum was dedicated to his everlasting love and passion for the art.