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Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green under an Eternal Sun

Yesterday, 18 March 2019, the book ‘Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green under an Eternal Sun’ was presented at the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague.

Following biographies on G.P. Adolfs, W.G. Hofker, and W.C.C. Bleckmann, the well-known author Gianni Orsini MSc. spent five years of extensive research on Romualdo Locatelli. Orsini presented the newly published book to H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, who has written the Foreword to the biography.

For four years, from 1939 until his tragic disappearance at the age of 37, the Italian painter Romualdo Locatelli lived and worked in the former Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. Although his paintings from Java and Bali are by far his rarest and thus most expensive and sought-after works, previous biographies have mainly described and illustrated Locatelli’s Italian and North African experiences and oeuvre. The 1994 Memoirs of Erminia Locatelli Rogers (1908-2005), the artist's widow, have been the sole relevant guideline to his Southeast Asian fortunes and misfortunes. Mr. Didier Hamel, who published these Memoirs, has written a Preface to the current book.

‘Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green under an Eternal Sun’ is the first-ever biography to focus in detail on the final four years of Locatelli’s brief yet eventful existence. It tells the story of a painter who reached fullest artistic bloom in the turbulent period when Southeast Asia was plunged into World War II, who tragically and mysteriously disappeared there, and thus, during the following 75 years, attained a status that evolved to mythological proportions.

‘Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green under an Eternal Sun’ by Gianni Orsini includes images of several paintings by Locatelli which have not been seen since the end of World War II. One of these, a Balinese oil painting entitled ‘Smoking’, will be auctioned on 31 March 2019, during the Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

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