Klunkung Semarajaya Museum
|The Works of Emilio Ambron |
Text and photos by Kartika Suardana
semarajaya1Italian painter and sculptor Emilio Ambron was inexplicably drawn to Bali after seeing photographs of Bali in a book by Dr. Gregor Frause and an exhibition of Balinese art in Paris in the early 1930s. After visiting the exhibition, Ambron sailed from Marseilles to Java to see for himself what he had seen in the photographs in Frause?s book Land und Volk. Ambron settled in Bali in 1938. He was a close friend of Le Mayeur, a prominent Belgian painter who had made Bali his home.
Ambron had a great passion for the island. Dancer Ni Cawangl, was his muse for his paintings and his appreciation of Balinese culture was clearly expressed through his paintings and drawings.
At the Semarajaya Museum in Klungkung Regency, one is able to gain a snapshot of the regency?s history, with items such as the court?s utensils, correspondence between the King of Klungkung and the Dutch governor general during the Dutch occupation in Klungkung, traditional Balinese weaving looms and the Klungkung palace weapons? collection.
Two rooms within the museum display the works of Emilio Ambron, notable among which is the painting The Balinese Girl with Water Lily, and another painting titled Blue Turban. Extracts from Ambron?s diary are displayed on the wall between the artists? paintings and sculptures.
The museum boasts 69 of Ambron?s works created over a period of 50 years. His inspiration came from classical renaissance roots while he used various mediums to express it. One thing that is obvious is that the artist loved to capture the movements of his model.
Emilio Ambron?s collection was formally donated to Museum Semarajaya on June 14, 1996. It was Ambron?s dying wish to dedicate the collection to the people of Bali as a symbol of his great love for the island and its people. [NOW]