Lot 545
Indonesian Art Online | 9 September 2021
Raden Mas Jodjana (1883-1972)

I. A flower study
II. A cabbage in a forest
III. A river landscape
IV. A bird and V. 'De Waaldorpsche duinen'

a pencil, a washed ink, an ink, a wood print and a watercolour on paper, all unframed, sizes from circa 15,5x19,5 cm to 25x39 cm

In this lot a number of works on paper by Raden Mas Jodjana. He was born in Jokjakarta in 1893 and was related to the royal family through both parents. Besides the Javanese upbringing, which noblemen traditionally followed, Jodjana was also taught at European schools. In 1914 he moved to the Netherlands in the company of the heir to the throne of Djokja, the later monarch Hamengkoe Boewono VIII [1921-39]. He went to study in Leiden, Jodjana enrolled at the Rotterdamsche Handelsschool. He planned to take up an administrative position in the Indies after his studies. This was a very common career for a noble Javanese. However, things turned out very differently.

In March 1916, two Charity Events for the Indies, took place. The aim of these events was to raise money for those affected by the many floods on the island Java towards the end of 1915. The Indonesian students in the Netherlands were asked to organize the evening. Jodjana and his friends decided to perform a number of court dances themselves, in addition to gamelan music and readings. To his own surprise, Jodjana turned out to be the most talented dancer in the group. He danced the classical dance of the vain king, the Kelono, and was the star of the evening.

The painter Isaac Israels was also in the audience of this benefit evening, where he was struck by the beautiful costumes and the movement of the Javanese dancers. It gave Israels the idea to make a painting of Jodjana as a dancer. This initial work marked the start of a series of paintings. One of those paintings of Jodjana by Isaac Israels was sold at Venduehuis Auctioneers The Hague in August 2019. Jodjana, dressed as a wayang-wong dancer, was depicting the character Ghatotkacha, holding a ceremonial spear, the tombak. We see him as a divine hero and with his distinct chin he had an noble expression like no other. This impressive painting was sold for a hammerprice of € 390.000.

The two became good friends and Jodjana asked Israels to give him painting lessons. Isaac advised Jodjana to start drawing. However, painting did not suit him. With Chris Lebeau he also studied the art of woodcarving and made some beautiful woodcuts, in the style of Lebeau. He occasionally made a woodcut as an illustration for various Indies magazines. In the end he did not continue with visual arts and after 1920 Jodjana started his career as a professional dancer and performed in various European countries. With his wife he finally settled in France where he died in small village in the Gironde, La Réole, in 1972.

Source: -M. de Haan, introduction for the exhibition ‘Isaac Israels en Raden Mas Jodjana: een Indische vriendschap / Isaac Israels and Raden Mas Jodjana: an East Indian friendship‘, Museum Mesdag The Hague, June-September 2005 -M. Bonneff, P. Labrousse, 'Un danseur javanais en France: Raden Mas Jodjana (1893-1972)‘, Archipel, vol. 54, 1997.

€ 200,00
€ 300,00
€ 180,00

Hamerprijs: € 180