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Rudolf Bonnet and Ni Radji – auction 6th of June 2012

Twice a year we have specialised auctions of Indonesian paintings. Last december we sold a pastel by Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978) for € 150.000 hammerprice. This gave a Swedish family the idea to sell their top-Bonnets as well. Both pastels were bought directly from Rudolf Bonnet.
These works represent the girl Ni Radji and are made on Bali in 1954.
Both are in a rare excellent condition and 70 cm high.
There is a striking similarity between these portraits and one of the most important paintings in the collection of president Sukarno: a double portrait of Ni Radji by Bonnet (Dua orang gadis).
Rudolf Bonnet, Sukarno collection

Bonnet and Sukarno both loved this painting so much that it even caused a conflict between them. Sukarno wanted to buy this painting, but Bonnet did not want to sell it. He wanted to keep it as a memory of Ni Radji who had left Ubud after her marriage. Eventually Bonnet had to sell the painting to Sukarno and was forced to leave Indonesia in 1958.
Here the similarity is shown more clear:

 The Swedish family also had this sketch of Ni Radji:

Provenance: Petra Vandiver (1911-1992). She was married with Marion Vandiver (1913–1991) an important man in the history of Garuda Indonesia.

Petra Vandiver

They bought the portraits early 1955, for 2000 Rupiah each. On a copy of the form for the bank transfer (9th of February 1955) Mr. Vandiver wrote later: ‘Balinese paintings, models for Presidents Palace Djakarta – Mrs. Vandivers collection’. 

Mr. Vandiver graduated from the Dallas Aviation School. He was representing the Link Blind-Flying Instrument Co. in Paris at the time the German army occupied Paris in 1940.  He was interned there, but escaped in 1941 to Portugal and returned to the United States.

He became a test pilot for Lockheed Aircraft in California and a Director of Scandinavian Airlines in Stockholm, Sweden.  During this period, the I.C.A.O. Division of the United Nations, asked him to organize and establish Garuda Airlines in Indonesia.  

The Vandivers lived seven years in Indonesia and were friends of Rudolf Bonnet. Later Mr. Vandiver became Far Eastern Representative for Lockheed Aircraft, based in Hong Kong. At the end of her live Madam Vandiver moved to Stockholm where she died in 1992.

Till the end of april consigning for this sale is possible. We are looking for works by artists like: Willem Gerard Hofker, Luciën Frits Ohl, Rudolf Bonnet, Hal Wichers, Romualdo Locatelli, Gerard Pieter Adolfs, Walter Spies, Adriaen Le Mayeur de Merpres, Theo Meier, Pieter Ouborg, Lee Man Fong, Willem Imandt, Auke Sonnega, Isaac Israëls, Willem Dooijewaard, etc
More information about our auctions of Indonesian paintings:

René de Visser

Zeeuws Veilinghuis
Herengracht 74
4331 PX  Middelburg
Tel. +31(0) 118-650680