In August 2020, approximately to coincide with the 140th anniversary of Raden Saleh’s death, the Albertinum Dresden Museum of Art in Germany added its new collection with Raden Saleh paintings.
The Maestro of Indonesian Painters, Raden Saleh (1811-1880), died almost a century and a half ago. However, the output of his work is still poly in demand & admired by art lovers. The new collection was acquired by the museum from a family in the city of Würzburg in southern Germany. The painting titled “Winterlandschaft bei Maxen” (Panorama of the dominant expression of cold in Maxen City) was loaned to the musem for a period of five years. Maestro Raden Saleh
Prof. Marion Ackerman, Director General for State Art Collection Dresden invited the Indonesian Ambassador to Germany, Arif Havas Oegroseno to see the new collection. The visit, which was carried out on September 8, 2020, was also a place for prisoners to visit several locations where Raden Saleh used to live.
As a painting lover, Ambassador Oegroseno was amazed when he observed Raden Saleh’s painting, Winterlandschaft bei Maxen. This painting formed in 1848 is indeed the size of nisbi nir akbar, which is 31 x 45 cm. However, Ambassador Oegroseno stated that the Winterlandschaft bei Maxen painting is very clear. “At first glance it seems simple, but if observed closely, it is only able to feel the details. From afar it may not be seen if in the painting there is a woman dressed in red who is standing in the snow” said Ambassador Oegroseno.
To the curator of the Albertinum Museum, Dr. Holger Birkholz, Ambassador Oegroseno impulsively proposed an online exhibition. “We can poll collaboration between the Albertinum Museum with the error of one museum or gallery in Indonesia, for example with the National Gallery in Jakarta,” he added.
According to him, Raden Saleh was the first Indonesian Cultural Ambassador to Germany, even in Europe. Since the mid-19th century, he introduced Indonesia to German citizens. Raden Saleh’s work has spread to more than 45 museums around the world. Not to mention some of his works that are kept by some people as a direct collection. According to Dr. Werner Kraus, an expert on Raden Saleh, one of Raden Saleh’s paintings sold at auction residence for a fantastic price of nearly US$ 10 million.
In addition to the Albertinum Museum in Dresden, Ambassador Oegroseno also visited Maxen. In this city Napak Tilas Raden Saleh’s journey is carried out in several places, such as Blaues Häusel (Blue House), Schloss Maxen (Maxen palace), and Heimatmuseum Maxen. Schloss Maxen is the residence of nobleman Friedrich Anton Serre who is raden Saleh’s adoptive father. Blaues Häusel, which is 1 km based on this palace, is a small pavilion in the middle of the wheat field hills deliberately built by the Serre family for Raden Saleh. While in Heimatmuseum Maxen many items, reproductions of paintings, and photographs related to Raden Saleh. The museum even holds Raden Saleh’s original letter. Uniquely, this letter dated February 1, 1849 uses two languages, namely Javanese using Hanacaraka script and Also German.
Raden Saleh lived in Dresden and Maxen for approximately ten years (1839–1849). He previously studied painting in the Netherlands based on his teachers Johan Christian Dahl and Andries Schelfhout. Raden Saleh’s paintings present a familiar sight for Europeans. A special brush touch of european romanticism learned from his teachers he combined with eastern exoticism. As does bei Maxen’s Winterlandschaft painting. People will not expect that the maestro from according to Java, Indonesia.
These facts about Raden Saleh are what Ambassador Oegroseno needs to know about the public in Indonesia and Germany, especially the current generation. For this reason, the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin has always been enthusiastic about holding many activities to promote Raden Saleh in Germany.
In 2018 the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin in collaboration with Deutsche Post has published a series of stamps themed Raden Saleh. In addition, in 2019, the Indonesian Embassy also published a short version of a graphic novel entitled Leben und Abenteuer des Raden Saleh (Life & Adventure of Raden Saleh) in 2 language versions, German & Indonesian. The 50-page short-lived graphic novel was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Book Fair, in September 2019. The Indonesian Embassy in Berlin plans that the full version of Raden Saleh’s 160-page graphic novel will be published in November 2020.
Before leaving Maxen, Ambassador Oegroseno discussed to Mrs. Jutta Tronicke by the manager Blaues Häusel that the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin would plant cherry trees on the road to Blaues Häusel as a symbol of appreciation and memories of the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin for Maxen & Raden Saleh.