Two artworks of an influential Russian painter, Konstantin Egorovick Makowsky, are being showcased in the art exhibition of presidential palace collection “Senandung Ibu Pertiwi” (Songs of Motherland) at the National Gallery on Aug. 2 until 30. (Photo courtesy of Antara Photo/Rosa Panggabean)

National Gallery Displays $1.35 Million Russian Painting From Sukarno's Collection


AUGUST 11, 2017

Jakarta. The Presidential Palace's collection of paintings presented in the "Songs of Motherland" exhibition at the National Gallery in Jakarta, features two works by 19th-century Russian painter Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky.

One of Makovsky's canvases displayed is a portrayal of a traditional Russian wedding, created by the artist in 1881.

The huge painting, measuring 295 centimeters by 450 centimeters and estimated to be worth more than Rp 18 billion ($1.35 million), was a gift for Indonesia's first President Sukarno, presented to him by Nikita Khrushchev during a visit to the Soviet Union.

Due to conservation difficulties and the painting's size, it is not the original that the gallery displays, but its copy on a big LED screen.

"During his life, Makovsky made only three large-size paintings. Two of them were given to President Sukarno, and the other one was presented to the British Monarch," curator Asikin Hasan said on Thursday (10/08).

Sukarno, who befriended many local and foreign artists, was also known as an avid art collector.

The exhibition features 48 paintings by 19th and 20th-century painters such as Basoeki Abdullah, Raden Saleh, Wakidi, Lee Man Fong, Rudolf Bonet, Itji Tarmizi, A.D Pirous, and Alimin Tamin.

It is divided into four sections: nature, daily life, tradition and identity, mythology and religion.

Beside paintings, the exhibition also showcases a number of important documents about the Presidential Palace's collections.

"Songs of Motherland" will be open until Aug. 30.