Claës Fredrik Hornstedt examining natural history specimens, attended by his slave Ali, in Java

This watercolour depicts the Swedish naturalist Claës Fredrik Hornstedt examining natural history specimens. The setting for this scene is Java, where Hornstedt spent a year between 1783 and 1784, supported by the Batavian Society of Arts and Science. He is attended to by a slave named Ali, as indicated in the accompanying inscription, Ali being a name he gave to his slave in replacement of his "long Javanese name". The inscription is dated 1788, when Hornstedt was curating at the Museum of Kunglika Vetenskaps Academien in Stockholm.

Date/Period
1780s
Dimension
Frame size: 46.5 x 38.5 cm, Image size: 26.0 x 20.5 cm
Accession No.
2016-00350
Material
Paper
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore
Category
Paintings