School of SPIES, Walter
Drawing, Indian ink and watercolour, 33,7 x 43 cm, drawing paper, unsigned (several tears, one large vertical folding crease with partial tear).
An impressive drawing with godlike creatures engaged in a fight. The scene possibly represents the Hindu God Bhima fighting the hundred Kauova brothers, during the Mahabharata War. He may be holding his son Sarvaga. The sheet is attributed on the verso to the school of Walter Spies, who was a Russian-born German primitivist painter, composer, musicologist, and curator. In 1923 he moved to Java, Indonesia. He lived in Yogyakarta and then in Ubud, Bali from 1927 on. He is often credited with attracting the attention of Western cultural figures to Balinese art in the 1930s. Spies was familiar with every phase of Balinese life and was the constant source of information to every archaeologist, anthropologist, musician or artist who went to Bali.
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