HUGO VILDFRED PEDERSEN (1870-1959)
'Klingaleesche Studiekop' (Klingalese study head) (circa 1898)
Signed and dated Hugo VP lower left
Oil on canvas laid down on board, 21 x 12.5 cm
Pedersen studied at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen before travelling to Germany for about seven years and then to London where he met his older brother who worked on a tobacco plantation in Sumatra. There and then he decided in 1898 to go the the East, first to Sumatra (after a short stop in Sri Lanka), then to Penang, Singapore, Java and finally Siam. In Java, with the help of the Dutch Governor General, Pedersen obtained admission to the kraton of the Susuhunan of Surakarta where he painted his portrait. The Susuhunan offered this portrait as a token of his loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Pedersen spent about twenty years in South East Asia.
In 1902 he published a book on his travels, mainly through Indonesia, Door den Oost-Indische archipel, which he illustrated with reproductions of his oil paintings, watercolours and drawings. The present study of a Singalese man, done while he was in Sumatra circa 1899, is illustrated in colour on page 161.