Museum Puri Lukisan Acquires Four Paintings from Madra-Wayang Exhibition

Ubud’s Museum Puri Lukisan purchased four paintings from its recent exhibition Ketut Madra and 100 Years of Balinese Wayang Painting. Two works by Ketut Madra of Peliatan and two by the late Pan Semari of Kamasan join the museum’s permanent collection for display with other wayang work in Gedung III.

The exhibition and its catalog included 69 Balinese wayang paintings created over the previous century – 40 from my collection, 15 from Ketut Madra’s, and the remaining 14 from seven museums and private collections in the USA and Bali.


Hanoman and Surya by Ketut Madra (above, acrylic on canvas, 54.5 x 44 cm, 1972, #55 in the exhibition catalog) was the catalog cover image and was also used for one of the exhibition posters. One of the most widely reproduced paintings by Madra, it also appears in the September 2013 Departures magazine article Wayang: How to Paint a Legend.


Ketut Madra’s Dharmaswami (above, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50.5 cm, 2013, #68 in the exhibition catalog) is a recent work completed just before the exhibition. It tells the same Tantri legend as the 1935 work by Ida Bagus Gelgel of Kamasan (below) – one of the best known and most highly regarded paintings in the Museum Puri Lukisan. Madra created the work especially for the exhibition to honor the Gelgel painting.


The other two paintings acquired by the museum are the work of Kamasan artist Pan Semari (1922-2000). Both depict Ramayana scenes in natural pigments with gold leaf on hardboard and include the appropriate verses in Balinese script. I bought the paintings from the artist in 1973.


   Abduction of Sita, Pan Semari, 58 x 70 cm, 1973, exhibition catalog #29


Rama and Laksmana Released by Garuda from Meganada’s Nagapasa, Pan Semari, 58 x 70 cm, 1973, exhibition catalog #39

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