Lot 098

b. Indonesia, 1898 - d. The Netherlands, 1968


Signed 'Adolfs' (left centre)
Gouache on paper
51cm x 64cm

Private Collection, Indonesia.

ESTIMATE  RM 9,000 - 12,000


A picture of a native Indonesian satay seller during the pre-Independence era is illustrated by Gerard Pieter Adolfs in a spontaneous manner. Seated on the ground, the figure is wearing only sarong with a piece of cloth on his head to shield him from the heat. A common sight in 19th century Java, the dish has spread its popularity across the globe and has moved from the streets of Java to fine dining restaurants of Europe. Today, satay sellers are still found on the streets of Java.

An architect by profession, Adolfs’ passion for the arts was instilled from a very young age, at home. His father, Gerardus Cornelis Adolfs too was an architect and an avid painter and photographer who played the piano and violin and was a sportsman, a pole vaulter. Gerard Pieter Adolfs spent his youth in Java and studied architecture in Amsterdam. Upon graduating, he returned to design homes in Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya. Known as “The Painter of Java and Bali”, Adolfs had an ardent desire to paint what he saw.

Blessed with an exceptional talent, Adolfs produced remarkable etching, sketches, drawings, murals and illustrations in a myriad of mediums like pastel, gouache, watercolour and oil. A globe trotter and an observant artist, he painted everywhere he went from the mystical dances and rituals in Bali, the way of life in Japan and North Africa to the scenic landscapes of Italy and Spain as well as the culture in the Netherlands. He painted in a variety of styles and was a contemporary painter of every era as seen in his spectacular paintings of the post-romantic period of green palette (1924 – 1928), Chiaroscuro (1928 – 1931), Graphic period in orange hues (1930 – 1935), Impressionism (1936 – 1940), Luminist period (1940 – 1947), Neo- Impressionist period (1946 – 1967), and Abstract (1965 – 1968).