Lot 15
Indonesian Art Sale | 18 November 2020
Ernst Agerbeek (1903-1945)

A Chinese man eating in his living room

signed and dated 'E Agerbeek / 1926' (lower right)

oil on canvas, 79x54 cm

Ernst Agerbeek, draughtsman, painter, resistance fighter

During the nineties of the last century, the paintings by Ernst Agerbeek (1903-1945) were sold at auction in Asia with unexpectedly high prices. The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore and Museum Pasifika on Bali own his works, and also private collectors in Indonesia love him. However, Agerbeek’s oeuvre is small and, therefore, highly sought after. The tragic reason behind this is that in 1945, at the age of 32, he was executed by the Japanese. In 1942 he was betrayed by a friend, after which the Japanese arrested him and took possession of a pistol and a transmitter. He ended up in the Werfstraat-prison in Surabaya and later in the notorious Glodok prison in Batavia where he was tortured. After his execution, his remains were thrown into a mass grave, but were later reburied at the Field of Honour, Leuwigajah in Cimahi.

Before the war, the world for this Indo-European artist was his oyster. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels and returned to Indonesia as a draughtsman, running an advertising agency in Sidoarjo. At the same time he was a member of the Association of Visual Artists in Batavia and exhibited his work at the Batavian Fine Art Society.

This charming painting shows a Chinese gentleman eating in the intimacy of his living room.

Frans Leidelmeijer

€ 20.000,00
€ 30.000,00
€ 32.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 32.000