Lot 368
  • 368

S. Sudjojono

500,000 - 700,000 HKD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • S. Sudjojono
  • Pemandangan (Landscape)
  • Signed, stamped with a monogram of the artist and dated Djak 1972
  • Oil on canvas
  • 90 by 180 cm.; 35 1/4 by 70 3/4 in.


This work is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity, issued by Museum S. Sudjojono No. O/MS/SS/65/VII/97.


This painting is in good condition overall. The canvas is clear and sound, free from craquelures. There are indications of light wear and handling but the paint layers are sound and stable. Examination under ultraviolet light there are indications of minor retouching primarily around the margins of the painting, the rice paddies (left register), and blue sky. Framed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Sindoutomo Sudjojono, or more popularly known as S. Sudjojono, is widely regarded as the father of Indonesian modern art. The artist's oeuvre is grounded in social realism, a deliberate separation from the Mooi Indie (Beautiful Indies) aesthetics that was made popular by European artists residing in the country. The latter was visible in the paintings that celebrated the feminine ideal, local traditions and handicrafts, or the pastoral depictions of farmers.

However, Sudjojono favoured natural motifs in his paintings, unflinching portrayals of the country's geography and population. Many of the works are inspired by the natural environment, and visual documentations of rural life, unbiased representations of his homeland, that contrasted with western portrayals of the exotic. 

An advocate for the Indonesian nationalist movement, Sudjojono's artworks acted as an extension of his political goals. Influenced by painting's expressive language, he desired to capture what he perceived as the truth within his works.
In 1938 together with fellow artist Agus Djaja, Sudjojono created the group Persagi (Persatuan Ahli-ahli Gambar Indonesia), a gathering of local artists who sought to reclaim ownership of the country's creative legacy. As Sudjojono wrote in the group's manifesto: "The new artist [will] no longer paint only the peaceful hut, blue mountains, romantic or picturesque and sweetish subjects, but also sugar factories and the emaciated peasant, the motorcars of the rich and the pants of the poor youth; the sandals, trousers, and jacket of the man on the street. This is our reality." 

The group decided on artistic styles that best represented their culture, and distanced themselves from popular themes and motifs, that they believed showed the country in a false light. The Persagi were extremely influential, their artistic legacy still evident in Indonesia's modern art movement. A keen follower of Sudjojono, and the artist's philosophy, was fellow painter Hendra Gunawan. The artist later joined his mentor in the PKI, also known as the Institute of People's Culture.

The present work aptly titled Pemandangan (Landscape) is demonstrative of the artist's creative vision. He embraced painting for the art form's ability to establish a visceral experience between the artist and the viewer. These portrayals of the geography and rural life encouraged nationalistic pride amongst the local community, fuelling their want for independence from the Dutch. 

Pemandangan (Landscape) further reflects the new aesthetics that Indonesian artists were incorporating into their works. The painting is a representation of the local countryside, a celebration of Indonesia's natural phenomena. Mountains dominate the landscape, their presence almost overshadowing the two farmers working in the rice fields, their homes shrouded by foliage in the distance.

The select color palette of muted greens, blues, and browns assist in grounding the work within a specific reality. Unlike works from other painters during this period, the scene is not softened by romanticism, nor are the farmers made graceful in their actions. "For my people, reality is the reality of rice," the artist has said.

Deena Burton, Sitting at the Feet of Gurus, Xlibris Corporation, 2009, p. 122.