In the first place we want to thank Willemijn Gertsen for her inspiration, hospitality and generosity to lend us her Five Volumes books of The Sukarno Collection: “Paintings & Statues of President Sukarno, Republic of Indonesia” . A team of experts had been appointed to compile this book which each series consists of five volumes. The first-to-fourth volumes are filled with reproductions of the paintings while the fifth-volume contains reproductions of statues and figures.
«Sukarno, the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, was an art connoisseur and lover. Following the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia in August 1945, the President purchased art works on a large scale, either personally or via an intermediary. He bought works by Indonesian artists, and also European painters such as Rudolf Bonnet, Willem Hofker, Roland Strasser, Theo Meier and the aristocratic Belgian artist Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès, who had settled on Bali and who was also known as the ‘Paul Gauguin of Bali’. He mostly painted half-naked dancers such as his Balinese wife Ni Pollok. The Dutchman Willem Hofker also painted charming bare-breasted Balinese women. Other favourite subjects for these painters included tropical landscapes, sawas (rice paddies), temples and village scenes: ‘Beautiful Indies romance’».
Sukarno’s art collection | The Study The Newsletter | No.67 | Spring 2014 – https://iias.asia/sites/default/files/IIAS_NL67_0607.pdf
«The spacious halls of the palace in Bogor, where the President usually spent the weekends, turned out to be well suited to display Sukarno’s collection of paintings and sculptures. The collection of the former Bataviasche Kunstkring, the Society for Art of Batavia, which the Japanese had confiscated in 1943 and given to Sukarno as a gift, constituted the core of the collection. This collection consisted mainly of works of European painters. Favorites of Sukarno were the Belgian impressionist A.J. Le Mayeur de Meprès and the Dutch painters Rudolf Bonnet, C.L. Dake and Willem Hofker, of whom there were many works in the collection.
Another source of Sukarno’s growing collection was the ‘donations’ he extracted from wealthy Indonesian business men.
In this way he acquired numerous works of Indonesian painters. Among them the naturalists were his favorites, Basuki Abdullah especially, but he also liked the work of Sudjojono. In his preference for sculptures Sukarno revealed a taste for robust, naturalist sculptures, preferable of nude women. Sukarno was not a man to keep his opinion about art to himself. He meddled with the types of exhibitions that should be held in Jakarta. He rejected the work of foreign abstract painters as in his opinion they would spoil the taste of young painters. In Bogor Sukarno liked to sit down behind the easel himself, and he followed painting lessons from his friend Basuki. Under the guidance of Basuki he painted two portraits of women that became part of his collection in the palace .»
L.J. Giebels – Sukarno: A biography
On this page we show the paintings of the foreign painters in the collection of Sukarno as published in the first Volume of “Paintings & Statues of President Sukarno, Republic of Indonesia”.
66] R. Bonnet – Bali dancers dressing for a performance
67] R. Bonnet – Bali girl scattering flowers
68] R. Bonnet – Djoged dance
|69] R. Bonnet – The weeder||70] C.L. Dake jr – Madura beach||
71] C.L. Dake jr – Ankor
|72] W.G.Hofker – Gusti Kompjang in the temple||73] W.G.Hofker – Bali girl attending the ceremony of Melis||74] Imandt– Volcanic crater|
75] Ch.Sayers – A Cremation in Bali
76] Annie Blauwpot ten Cate – An old woman
|77] Antonio Blanco – Bali dancers dressing for a performance|
|78] N.White – The wave||79] Romualdo Locatelli – Harrowing a field in Java||80] L.Amato – Italian girl|
|81] G.Giovanetti – Nude under the moonlight||82] Galli – Seascape||83] T.Massimo – Roses|
|84] Roland Strasser – Cock-fighting man in Bali||85] Roland Strasser – Balinese girl and her fan||86] A.J. Le Mayeur de Merfres – Beside the pool|
|87] Theo Meier – The enchanting flute||88] Theo Meier – Miss Sutarti|