KETOET GEDE, SINGARAJA, THE STORY OF SALYA AND SATYAWATI
Drawing on Dutch paper, watermark Pro Patria, countermark VdL., 33.9 x 42.3 cm
Nakula, right, kneels in front of a pavilion inside which is Salya, left, who restrains his wife from stabbing herself to death, embraces her. A text in Balinese script in ink in the centre says: “salya satyawati ngawe kris”, Salya, Satyawati holds a kris”. On the right is written: “nakule”, Nakula.
This scene refers to various episodes described in the Old Javanese poem Bharatayuddha. Salya has become commander-in-chief of the Korawa party. In XXXVI: 4, he thinks of the Pandawa party, particularly of Nakula, since he is very fond of him. In XXXVI: 9018, Salya, just home from his inauguration, is visited by Nakula. He kneels down in front of Salya. He refuses to fight Salya in the war and asks Salya to kill him beforehand with a weapon. Salya refuses to do so. He says that he will fight Yudistira later on and that he will be killed by his book-arrow. Nakula finally leaves. In XXXVII: 11 Satyawati tells her husband that she wants to kill herself then. She does not want to see her husband dead, killed in the battle. She takes a kris and points it at her breast (XXXVIII: 1). Salya restrains her. He talks to her and makes love to her. It is possible that three episodes are combined in the drawing: the visit of Nakula; Salya preventing his wife from killing herself, and Salya showing his love to Satyawati.