Image: Bharatayuddha: Death of Abimanyu

Bharatayuddha: Death of Abimanyu

Ider-Ider (painting) depicting 'Bharatayuddha: Death of Abimanyu'. Forge collection Australian Museum

© Australian Museum


Ider-ider paintings tell a story using a sequence of scenes on a horizontal strip in the style of a comic. They were tied under the eaves of temple or palace pavilions and read by walking around the building. This segment shows the cremation of Abimanyu, the heroic son of Arjuna, who died from being pierced by 100 arrows. One of his wives, Uttari, is pregnant and not permitted to join her husband in death, but his other wife Sundari leaps from the ramp into the fire, where her soul is released and flies upward in the form of a bird.

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Tags Death Online, disposing of the dead, cremation, traditional, Balinese, Forge Collection, collection object, Bali,


Stan Florek - 3.01 PM, 20 January 2010


Dear Ruth, for people with a general interest the article entitled “Balinese Art” in Wikipedia is a reasonable starting point:
The exhibition catalogue “Balinese Traditional Paintings: A selection from the Forge Collection of the Australian Museum, Sydney” by Anthony Forge, Australia, 1978 provides good overview and detailed interpretation of some paintings and motifs.
A more recent book “Sacred Painting in Bali” by T.L Cooper offers a more up to date study of Balinese paintings (see review:
Professor “Adrian Vickes’ Indonesia Blog” (the University of Sydney) offers the opportunity to join in or follow discussion involving specialists and other interested participants:
The Australian Museum will be gradually making available on its website more information, images and interpretations of Balinese Paintings from the Museum collection.
Ruth Duffy - 12.01 PM, 17 January 2010
I have several Balinese paintings pre-World War II which were purchased in Bali in the late 1920's or 1930's by a US Navy Commander friend of my parents. My mother left them to me, and I would like to learn more about them. Is there anyone in the museum who could assist me? Thank you, Ruth Duffy

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