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Collection

Eliza van Zuylen

(Indonesia 1863 – 1947)

Title
Batik skirtcloth (kain panjang) with flower and butterfly design
Other titles:
Batik tulis kain panjang (skirtcloth)
Piece of skirtcloth ('kain panjang') with flower and butterfly design
Place of origin
PekalonganJavaIndonesia
Year
circa 1890-1946
Media category
Textile
Materials used
cotton, dyes, batik
Dimensions

106.0 x 196.0 cm

Signature & date
Signed embroided "Eliza van Zuylen". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of Dr John Yu 1998
Accession number
120.1998
Location
Not on display
Further information

Of all the textiles of Southeast Asia, the influence of Europe is most dramatic and direct on certain categories of batik made in Java during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this period Dutch and Eurasian women, referred to as 'Indische' played an innovative role in batik production along the north coast of Java. Their influence extended from their choice of patterns and colours through to their actual entrepreneurial involvement in the establishment of batik workshops. One of the longest lasting and most famous of these ateliers was directed by Eliza van Zuylen whose workshop operated in Pekalongan from 1890-1946. With the influence of European tastes, traditional batik patterns gave way to patterns of flowers, plant motifs and birds reminiscent of Indian chintz patterns. Eliza van Zuylen's batiks were designed for the western export market as well as for the local 'Indische'. This piece with designs of floral bouquets or "buketan", birds and butterflies in various shades of blues and greys, would have been worn as a hip or waist wrapper. Blue pieces are traditionally worn during the period of mourning.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 1998.

Bibliography (2)

Rens Heringa and Harmen Veldhuisen, Fabric of enchantment, Los Angeles, 1997, 126.

Robyn Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia : tradition, trade and transformation, Canberra, 1990, 382ff.

Exhibition history (1)

Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006