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Jakarta Post

Tracing the Virgin Mary in Basoeki Abdullah’s ‘Maria Assumpta’

  • Agus Dermawan T.


Jakarta   /   Thu, June 20 2019   /  12:46 am

Maria Assumpta by Basoeki Abdullah, 1935.Clad in a kebaya (traditional Javanese blouse) and batik wraparound, the Virgin Mary ascends to the heavens in Basoeki Abdullah’s Maria Assumpta, a painting recently discovered in a warehouse in the Netherlands and a significant piece of artwork that helped shape the local imagery of this revered Catholic figure in Indonesia. A few weeks ago, Indonesia’s fine art community learned about a surprising discovery in connection with the country’s master of realism, Basoeki Abdullah (1915-1993). One of his paintings, the Maria Assumpta (Virgin Mary’s Ascension), had recently been found in the basement warehouse of the Jesuit Society nursery home in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Figures within the Indonesian art scene lamented the poor handling of the 200 centimeter by 100-cm painting, which is considered one of Basoeki’s masterpieces. The Dutch c...