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Home » Arts & Culture

I Gusti Nyoman Lempad  

by on Tuesday, 23 February 20102 Comments | 7,270 views

Title : The Dagger Attack On Rangda
Artist : I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
Media : Ink and tempera on papper
Size : 24 x 33 cm
Year : 1939s
Courtesy : Neka Art Museum

I Gusti Nyoman Lempad might be the one of the most talented artists ever born in Bali. He was a master craftsman, designing and building monumental gates, carving temples and palace decorations, making barong mask, cremation towers, nagabandas (papier-mache dragon for royal cremation) and above all painting. He was also well versed in old Balinese literature.

I Gusti Nyoman Lempad was born in Bedulu in 1862, he was multi-talented as is father who was also excellent craftsman, architect, and painter. In 1875, his talent offended his patron and fled to Peliatan then to the protection of the court in Ubud; Lempad was 13 at this time. He left behind in Bedulu an important legacy as architect and sculptor. He was an excellent sculptor who reputed in particular to have introduced the unfinished style of in stone sculpture, in this style the characters are roughly hewn and bereft of all iconographic traits.


Title : Protection Of The Barong
Artist : I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
Media : Ink and tempera on papper
Size : 24 x 33 cm
Year : 1939s
Courtesy : Neka Art Museum

It is for his drawing Lempad is best known. The use of paper and material given to him By Walter Spies, when Lempad was already in his sixties, enabled the artist to take the art of drawing to a level until then unknown in Bali. Originally painting in traditional wayang style, he soon evolved toward increased stylization in his drawing, in his works, it is the “lines” rather than the narrative that really matters. Lempad’s drawing is sparse, its lines standing out of full lightness and movement. Although he mostly chose his subject from Balinese mythology and religious epic such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, Lempad also dealt with daily life and even sexuality.


Title : The Children Disturb Mother Brayut
Artist : I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
Media : Ink and tempera on papper
Size : 24 x 33 cm
Year : 1939s
Courtesy : Neka Art Museum

Not only his drawing are outstanding, but his skill in applied art was apparent, when he designed and constructed Nagabandas and cremation tower and cow sarcophagi for cremation. He also built monumental gates and temples, he directed the construction of Pura Saraswati and personally sculpted the statue of Jero Gede Mecaling, the demon lord of epidemics and pestilence which is 10 feet high.


Title : The Brayuts Feast Together
Artist : I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
Media : Ink and tempera on papper
Size : 24 x 33 cm
Year : 1939s
Courtesy : Neka Art Museum

Lempad was a generous man. He often easily gave away his paintings to those who he adored, such as Ir. Soekarno (the first President of Republic Indonesia) and the astronaut Ronald Evans. In 1930 he with Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies and other local artists established a non profit organization “Pitamaha“. The goal was to promote the quality of their works and at the same time to have discussed exhibition in major cities such as Amsterdam, Tokyo and Paris.

But for Balinese the most remarkable feat of Lempad is the way he died. It is well authenticated that he waited for many months for the most appropriate day to die. When it arrived, he called his numerous scattered descendants together and asked them to bathe him and dress him in white. He told them that their inheritance was to complete the tasks that he had left unfulfilled in his short life, bade them farewell and died. He died in Ubud, in 1978, at the remarkable age of 116.

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  • 2 Comments »

    • Bali Villas said:

      Those are nice artistry indeed. The deliberation of each art is profound that you can really see the abstract culture in Bali.

    • lifestyle said:

      very good photo 😉 thanks !

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