Prince Raden Saleh - Aristocrat,
Artist, Scientist and Patriot
Prince Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman
born in 1811 into the noble Indonesian Regent family of the famous Kijai Ngabehi
Kertoboso Bustaman (1681-1759),
directly related to the Mataram Kingdom and Sultanate, just as his
great-grandnephew Dr. George H. Hundeshagen, founder and chairman of the
Prince Raden Saleh Foundation.
The Bustaman family encompassed 20 Regents and at least 7 Regent families
throughout Indonesia, and is remembered for their heroic support of Prince
Diponegoro's struggle for independence.
Our family suffered tremendously because of their devoted support of Pangeran
Prince Raden Saleh's
Raden Sukur and his
brother (also by the name) Raden Saleh, sons
celebrated and beloved Regent
of Semarang Kyai
Adipati Suryamangalla, also fought on the side of Prince
Because of this, Raden Sukur's father and
brother both were arrested
by the Dutch in 1825 and sent into exile.
For additional information please see the page Raden Saleh and Diponegoro.
arrest of Prince Diponegoro
by General de Kock, Prince Raden Saleh moved to Europe,
where he studied art under Cornelius Kruseman and Andreas Schelfhout.
was the first
Indonesian artist to paint in the Western style,
the fact that he expressed individuality and creativity in his
the way for all
future Indonesian artists to express their own ideas more freely.
It was from Kruseman that Prince Raden Saleh learned his skills as a
portraitist, and he was received at various European courts where he was
commissioned mainly to do portraits. From 1839, he spent five years at the court
of Ernst I, Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who became an important patron.
From Schelfhout, Prince Raden Saleh learned the skills of a landscape artist.
Raden Saleh visited
many European cities, as well as Algiers.
While in The Hague
a lion tamer allowed
him to study his lions, and
wild animal scenes brought
Prince Raden Saleh
During his stay in Europe, Raden Saleh met with many important
painters and artists, such as Eugene Delacroix.
In 1839 Prince Raden Saleh painted one of his masterpieces named “Lions and
Snake”, which symbolizes the eternal fight of good against evil, and Delacroix
painted a very similar theme called “Tiger and Snake” in 1862, again twenty-three
years after the Prince Raden Saleh original.
Prince Raden Saleh returned to Indonesia in 1851, having lived in Europe for
years and subsequently married into the family of the
Sultan of Yokyakarta.
continued to paint, producing portraits of Javanese aristocrats, and many
Prince Raden Saleh died on April 23, 1880, after returning from a second
extended stay in Europe
which he undertook to visit his family one last time.
Ever since then Prince Raden Saleh has been the celebrated and
cherished Superstar of Indonesian arts, and already three years after his
passing away his timeless masterpieces were displayed at the 1883 World
Exhibition in Amsterdam in a special Raden-Saleh-Pavillon.
Prince Raden Saleh's most
his oil painting
'The Capture of Prince Diponegoro' which was returned to
Indonesia from the Royal Palace of the Netherlands in 1978. It is now on display
Museum Istana Jakarta. In the painting, Prince Raden Saleh deliberately
made the heads of the Dutch big, a reference to their pomposity and arrogance,
and also to make them 'laughable' figures in comparison with the well-balanced
figures of the Indonesians.
follow this link to our complete interpretation as
to what Prince Raden Saleh really was expressing and stating with this important
painting. You will see and realize a totally new and exciting side of Indonesia's
It is believed that the Javanese man covering his face with his hands, standing
Diponegoro, and the Javanese man standing with his head bowed in the
crowd at the bottom of the stairs, are both self-portraits.
follow this link to our
Official Prince Raden Saleh Online Museum
the only and
comprehensive exhibition of Raden Saleh
original paintings, watercolours and drawings world-wide. We are home to the largest
and official collection of his works of art
and media world-wide, and at the same time the most comprehensive source on Raden Saleh related
topics and research information.
We are also proud and greatly honoured that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia
and H.E. President Dr. H.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
four years ago conferred one
highest Indonesian awards, the ‘Bintang Mahaputera Adipradana'
posthumously to Prince Raden Saleh, represented by the Prince Raden Saleh