This batik fabric is decorated with six "Wayang" (shadow puppet) figures. This is only one motif used to decorate Indonesian cloth. There are about 3000 recorded batik patterns, including flowers, twining plants, leaves, buds, flowers, birds, butterflies, fish, insects, and geometric forms, many of which are rich in spiritual symbolism. Some batkis from Central Java, such as the one displayed here, use motifs that recall characters from the Hindu epics, plants, animals, sea creatures and gamelan melodies. The culture of Central Java has a mixture of Islamic, Hindu-Buddhist, and Javanese mystical traditions, all of which contribute to the decorative elements.
Naturally dyed batiks with characteristics colours soga brown and indigo blue, are produced in Central Java. Patterns tare drawn with a "canting", or wooden pen which is fitted with a reservoir for hot, liquid wax. Some artists draw the design directly onto the cloth from memory, while others use patterns of faint charcoal. In the nineteenth century, some fabrics were produced with a large copper stamp which could apply the waxed patterns more quickly. Traditionally, women write the patterns, but men may produce batiks with the stamp process, which is semi-industrial.
Bibliography: Richter, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia; Všlger and Welck, Indonesian Textiles: Symposium 1985, ŇIndonesiaŐs Fabric ArtÓ (copy in document file)
Tang-ka (Thanka, Tangh-Ka)
Ink; Colours; Cotton
Tibet, 19th century
Each aspect of a Tang-ka, from the overall design to the colours used, is specified i the sacred texts of Tibetan Buddhism. This Tang-ka is probably an initiation mandala (sacred diagram). The mandala form is especially important to the Esoteric sects of Buddhism.
This mandala can be tentatively associated with the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The figures across the top are wearing hats characteristic of the Nyingma sect, and probably the leaders. The four-armed Mahakala at the centre bottom is wearing a snow-leopard loincloth, also associated with Nyingma. The centre top figure is Vajradara; his robes are characteristic of a specific sect. The figures across the bottom are siddhas connected with the sect.
This scroll was conserved by the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa in 1982. One of the most sophisticated pieces of conservation work in the Maltwood Collection, the scroll reflects contemporary western preservation philosophy. The Tang-ka had suffered extensive water damage. The painting was cleaned, but instead of remounting it on paper, it was suspended between two fine silk supports. No in-painting or tinting was attempted.
Katharine and John Maltwood acquired this Tang-ka from Nakaya, Nikko in Japan on July 29, 1920.
Bibliography: Bryner, Thirteen Tibetan Tankas; Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism; Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls; Sacred Art of Tibet, Tibetan Review; Measure, Typescript Paper on Tang-kas; Conservation Report and Correspondence in Document File
Untitled (Cathedral scene, Rome)
Stella Langdale (1880-1976, active 1912-1950)
The Via San Giovanni Laterano in Rome is depicted in this charcoal drawing by the Canadian artist, Stella Langdale. It was formerly owned by the Maltwoods.
Window in Leon Cathedral
Richard Roskell Bayne
Watercolour; graphite; paper
These two watercolour drawings show various windows in Leon Cathedral as interpreted by Richard Roskell Bayne on February 22, 1865. Bayne produced these drawings while on a European sketching tour of France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey in 1864-5. He later became an architect for the East India Railway Company in Calcutta, India. After his retirement, Bayne moved to Victoria, where he died in 1905.
The left drawing shows "two lights in the lantern." Bayne observed, "most windows of N clerestory v[ery] rich in effect." The right drawing made the same day illustrate the "fylling in of the tracery in the South Aisle." The two lower details show figures from the same window. Bayne remarks that some of these are "quaint and rude."
The Bayne Collection is jointly held by the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery and the Special Collections of the McPherson Library. It contains over 700 drawings and paintings made by Bayne durings his European sketching tour and his tenure in India.
Bibliography: Graduate student research papers, Bayne Research Seminar.