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Portrait of Johanna Botter, Oil on canvas, painted by Jan Daniel Beijnon

Johanna Frederica Abrahama Botter was born on December 22, 1826 in Tjikao-Krawang, Indonesia. She married Henri Jean Louis Leyssius (1819-1887) at the age of 16, on 11 January 1843 in Poerwakarta, Indonesia. They would have nine children.

In the present portrait, Johanna Botter is represented sitting in an armchair against a curtained backdrop, wearing an elegant blue silk and lace dress and holding a fan. The gold bracelet and cameo highlight the sitter's social status. The Indonesian river landscape and lush vegetation visible beyond the curtain allude to her birthplace and homeland. The Botter-Heyl family coat of arms in the upper right corner completes the image. The portrait is signed and dated 1856.


Johanna Botter died only months after this portrait was painted, on January 6 1857 aboard the sailing ship "Minister Pahud" while en route to the Netherlands. She was only 30 years old.



Stadsarchief Amsterdam; Zeeuws Veilinghuis; Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis; Werner Kraus: Chinese Influence on Early Modern Indonesian Art? Hou Qua: a Chinese Painter in 19th-century Java ; Nederlands Archief.

Jan Daniel Beynon (1830-1877) 'Portrait of Johanna Botter', dated 1856

  • Additional information

    Portrait of Johanna Botter by Jan Daniel Beynon, part of a pair with that of her husband Henri Leyssius, painted in 1859.


    Jan Daniel Beynon (or Beijnon) was an Indo-European painter born in Batavia, Indonesia, on 20 May 1830. He was the son of Jacob Willem Beynon (1795-1874) and Johanna Petronella Hoogveld (1806-1887). The Beynon family, originally from Switzerland, fled to Frankfurt, Germany. The artist's great-grandfather, born in Frankfurt, moved to Amsterdam, later pursuing career opportunities in the East Indies in 1752. After careers in the service of the Dutch East India Company VOC (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) the family gathered substantial wealth. The Beynon's were the only family in Batavia to send one of their young men to Europe to study art. In 1848 he was sent to the Netherlands where he studied at the Koninklijke Academie in Amsterdam and was taught by famous 19th-century Dutch masters such as Cornelis Kruseman and Nicolaas Pieneman.

    Beynon exhibited in Amsterdam and The Hague in 1852 and 1853. After his training and a stay of six years, the painter returned to Batavia in 1855, where he set up a studio in Molenvliet (Jalan Gajah Mada). Although not much is known of the painter's later life, he left behind an impressive body of work consisting of portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre paintings. His works are a testament of his fine artistic skills, particularly his use of colour, light and surface reflections, techniques much employed by The Fijnschilders (literally "fine-painters") of the seventeenth century. Since his financial situation was secured, he did not have to sell his paintings and never really entered the art market. Few of his paintings are in public collections; most of the artist's work remains in the Beynon family collection. However, the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam owns three landscapes and four portraits by Beynon.

    Jan Daniel Beynon died in Batavia on 29 July 1877, aged 47.


    Artist: Jan Daniel Beijnon (1830-1877).
    Signed and dated 1856 on the lower right.
    Medium: Oil on canvas.
    Condition: Very good condition. Recently relined and professionally restored.
    Dimensions: 72 x 59.5 cm. / 28 ¼ x 23 ½ in.
    Frame: 79 x 67.5 cm. / 39 x 32 ¾ in. Contemporary, classic style giltwood frame. Excellent condition.
    Provenance: France.

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