The 5ft 5in x 4ft 4in (1.65 x 1.34m) oil on the original canvas, which is signed and dated lower right Raden Saleh F java 1861, is titled La Route descendant du mont Megamendung.
It is one of the artist’s first tropical forest views, rich in carefully observed botanical details and the first depiction of this site. The work also shows the influence of the 23 years that Saleh spent in Europe and his connections with European art of the period.
The work offered at by Daguerre (30% buyer’s premium) at Drouot came with a notable provenance.
It belonged to Eduard Cassalette (1840-91) who was based in Aachen, Germany, and together with his uncles Felix and Ernst in Java, were prominent traders of goods to and from the Dutch East Indies. Eduard probably purchased the painting directly from the artist while on a trip to Java bringing it back to Europe as early as 1865 and it had remained in the family ever since.
Offered together with the paintings were two albums of early photographs of Java belonging to Eduard Cassalette from the early 1860s (previewed in ATG No 2517). One contained 72 albumen prints by Isadore van Kinsbergen (1821-1905), the first European photographer of Java. Featuring a mix of portraits and scenes of Javanese courts, it sold for €13,000 (£11,110).
The other containing 53 albumen prints of Javanese views by van Kinsbergen and the English photographers Walter Woodbury, Henry James Woodbury and James Page failed to find a buyer.