AUGUSTE VAN PERS (1815-1871)
'Gezigt op de Pangerango genomen bij de Pasanggrahan Bodjong Ketong'
Signed and dated van Pers delineavit ex natura, anno 1839 lower left on album sheet
Pencil on paper laid down on album sheet with title Java Afdeeling Buitenzorg, 13.5 x 30.5 cm
Auguste van Pers, an amateur artist, arrived in the Dutch East Indies as a soldier in 1839 but was soon appointed draughtsman in the Geographical Department in Buitenzorg (Bogor).
In 1846 he joined Dr. C.A.L.M. Schwaner on a geological exploration of Borneo. His Borneo drawings were lithographed and published in Schwaner’s book on Borneo. During his fourteen years in Indonesia, he participated in numerous artistic enterprises, including the painting of theatrical stage sets but he is best known for his drawing and portraying of the various ethnic groups of Java, their professions and customs. Carl Wilhelm Mieling, one of the foremost Dutch lithographers, began publication of his Nederlandsch Oost-Indische typen after the drawings by van Pers in 1853.
The work was issued in parts till 1862 and ultimately 56 plates were published, all captioned in Dutch, French and Javanese. Two of these coloured lithographs, the African soldier and the palm wine seller, are illustrated in Uit Verre Streken, March 2015, 31.
The present drawing, possibly his earliest work in Java, was executed in the year of his arrival, 1839. It shows the mountain of Pangerango in West Java, as seen from the resthouse Bodjong Kelong.