‘Pangeran dari Timur’ chronicles the tragic life of Raden Saleh

All Things Books / Review

About Pangeran dari Timur,
Written by Sebastian Partogi, and was originally published in Jakarta Post,
Apr 26, 2020

Indonesian authors Iksaka Banu and Kurnia Effendi have just launched a book they co-authored, a nearly 600-page historical novel called Pangeran Dari Timur that was more than 20 years in the making. The double-plot novel that centers on the life of the great painter Raden Saleh (1811-1880) and the Indonesian intellectuals of the early 20th century is a tragic story of how colonialism and racism let Indonesia’s creative and intellectual minds down in the pre-independence era. The life and death of Raden Saleh is the anchor of the dual narrative, beginning with his artistic talents and interests emerging as a child and through the eventual expansion of his artistic abilities under his Dutch mentor, Antoine Auguste Joseph Payen.

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