WILLEM IMANDT (1882-1967)
The Merapi and Meraboe vulcanos, central Java as seen from Willem Imandt’s villa at Moentilan, circa 1922
Signed Imandt lower right
Oil on canvas, 79.5 x 150 cm
The title is according to a text on the back of a photograph by Willem Imandt of the same view; see: Paul van der Velde, Willem Imandt, 1882-1967, De Indische Romantiek van een Zeeuws-Vlaamse schilder, Zeeuws Tijdschrift, jaargang 65, no. 1-2, 2015, p. 34).
Born in the Netherlands, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, Willem Imandt arrived in Indonesia in 1908 where he worked as a school teacher in primary and secondary schools, also giving drawing lessons. He painted in his free time and travelled around the Archipelago to paint its magical nature; volcanoes, waringin trees, seashores and temple ruins. This view of the Merapi and Meraboe vulcanos Imandt painted at least three times. His ability to depict the mystical atmosphere of Indonesia remains unrivalled and by the 1920’s he was one of the best known Western painters in Indonesia with many admirers, including Indonesian princesses, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, King Albert I, rich Chinese businessmen and Dutch civil servants and entrepreneurs. In 1929 he retired to Holland but with the threat of a war in Europe, he returned to his beloved Indonesia in 1938 together with his wife and seven children. When the war also came to Indonesia he was interned in a Japanese concentration camp. In 1946 he returned to Holland with all his family members alive and settled in The Hague where, at the age of 72, he had a solo exhibition and several exhibitions with other Dutch artists who had worked in Indonesia.