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Tropen 3 (Golden Demon Statue)

JULY 30, 2008
Golden Statue, Java, 14th century
The 3rd poster that I painted for the Tropen Museum was for a golden statue from Eastern Java, 14th Century. It depicts an ancient poem about  a demon king and a Buddha-prince through a journey to enlightenment. The handsome prince Sutasoma is shown being carried on the back of the demon King Kalmasapada towards his death. The demon kings' mother was a lion and because of this he had an unstoppable hunger for human meat. (I just realized this is another cannibal story) He also imprisoned one thousand princes who had been his sons. During their journey, the Prince convinced or reformed the demon king through his wisdom to become peaceful. The tale is full of ancestral kingdoms, palaces and princesses.
When I visited the museum I had my own private tour with a very knowledgeable guide who had the keys to all the cases and doors. I asked where this statue was located during my tour. My guide opened a small glass case and took out the small (about 3 inch tall) golden statue. Unbelievable! I had no idea that it was so small.
I usually avoid putting all aspects of the story into one illustration. However, I really thought a tapestry like image might work.
Final oil painting 18" x 24"
final poster
demon zoom
Lion zoom
princess zoom
Poster at bus station in Amsterdam
© 2024 Chris Buzelli