Raden Saleh Sjarif Bestaman is one of the best known Indonesian painters. Born into a noble Javanese family, he is considered a pioneer of modern Indonesian art. He began his career in Bogor, under the guidance of the Belgium artist A.J. Payen. In 1829 he arrived in Europe after the Dutch government granted him a scholarship. He began his training under Cornelius Kruseman and Andries Schelfhout and adopted a Western style of painting. From this training Saleh developed his skills as portraitist, which allowed him to gain favour in various European courts. The artist returned to Indonesia in 1851, where he continued to paint for the Javanese aristocracy.
Two of Saleh's pictures now hang in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.