Raden Sarief Bustaman SALEH (1811 - 1880)
A Tiger Attacking a Sika Deer Sold
Pencil, heightened with white and gum arabic. Dated VI.I.78 at the lower left and signed(?) R. Saleh on the verso.216 x 293 mm. (8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.)ENQUIRE
The present sheet was drawn in 1878, during the artist’s second and final visit to Europe, and is the only known work by the artist to survive from this year. In January 1878 Raden Saleh was living in Paris with his wife, who was recovering from an operation, and two Javanese servants. The artist had begun depicting lions and tigers as early as 1836 in the Hague, where he met a famous wild animal tamer named Henri Martin, who allowed the young artist to make extensive studies of the lions and tigers in his menagerie. The subject of animals attacking their prey remained a popular theme in the artist’s oeuvre. A painting of a fight between a lion and lioness and a buffalo, signed and dated 1848, was presented by the artist to King Willem III of the Netherlands in 1850 and deposited at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. A chalk drawing of a lion attacking a horse and rider recently appeared on the art market in Paris, while a watercolour study of a deer hunt on Java appeared at auction in Hong Kong in 2004. Two highly finished pencil drawings of lions attacking horses by Raden Saleh are in the Kupferstichkabinett in Dresden, while a similar drawing is in the collection of the Nasjonalgalleriet in Oslo.