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“Boschbrand” (Forest Fire) by Raden Saleh

National Gallery Singapore - Joy of Museums -

“Boschbrand” (Forest Fire) by Raden Saleh

“Boschbrand” (Forest Fire) by Raden Saleh depicts a dramatic scene where numerous wild animals have been chased by a forest fire to edge of a precipice. This monumental work and elaborate composition is set in a Javanese setting and was painted after Saleh had been in Europe for 20 years.

In Europe Raden Saleh had earned critical success and patronage. This painting was presented as a gift to his patron King William III of the Netherlands. The following year he was awarded the title of “King’s Painter”.

Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman (1811 – 1880) was an Indonesian painter of Arab-Javanese ethnicity. He was considered to be the first “modern” artist from Indonesia, then the Dutch East Indies. His paintings incorporated the nineteenth-century romanticism which was popular at the time while reflecting his cultural roots in his work.

“Boschbrand” (Forest Fire) by Raden Saleh

  • Title:                   Boschbrand (Forest Fire)
  • Artist:                 Raden Saleh
  • Date:                   1849
  • Material:           Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:      300 x 396 cm
  • Museum:           National Gallery Singapore

Saleh Sjarif Boestaman

  • Name:               Saleh Sjarif Boestaman
  • Born:                1811 -Semarang, Dutch East Indies
  • Died:                 1880 – Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies
  • Movement:      Romanticism

Highlights of the National Gallery Singapore


“A given excuse that was not asked for, implies guilt.”
– Singaporean / Malay Proverb


Photo Credit: JOM

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