Paintings of Bali have experienced remarkable evolution.
Traditionally another means of expressing religious and mythological
ideas, paintings of Bali have been subjected to a number of influences,
including deep interaction with Western painters who came and lived in
Bali. As with any other artistic expression found in the island, these
influences have been uniquely adapted into Bali’s personality, creating
new nuances and styles of paintings that are distinctly Balinese.
Instead of religious or mythical characters of wayang, contemporary
paintings present nature, daily lives of Balinese, or even tourists.
The shades of coal gray that dominate traditional paintings are now
accompanied by vibrant play of color capturing Jalak Bali or Gunung
Agung in the morning sun.
The Raja of Ubud was known for his fondness of arts and paintings,
and his openness to foreigners. Thus Ubud became the center of arts,
welcoming into its heart renowned artists such as Bonnet, Spies,
Blanco, Snel, et., many of whom came and never could leave Bali.
Today’s Ubud is only slightly different. You should not be surprised to
run into a foreign writer who has spent months living in a homestay
facing a rice field terrace while writing his next book. Fabulous
museums of paintings such as the Puri Museum Lukisan, the Neka Museum,
and the Rudana Museum have in their permanent collections some of the
best paintings ever produced by Balinese or foreigners who found their
physical and artistic home in Bali.