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Centuries old painting showing Dutch and Siraya arrives in Taiwan

'Junius Baptising the New Christians (Aboriginal Taiwanese) at Formosa' to be displayed in Tainan

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The oil painting is inspected by museum staff upon arrival in Tainan on Wednesday. (Facebook, National Museum of Taiwan History photo)

The oil painting is inspected by museum staff upon arrival in Tainan on Wednesday. (Facebook, National Museum of Taiwan History photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An oil painting showing a rare depiction of early Dutch colonizers and Indigenous Taiwanese in the 1600s will be shown publicly in Taiwan for the first time in February.

The painting, known as “Junius Baptising the New Christians (Aboriginal Taiwanese) at Formosa,” depicts Dutch missionary Robert Junius performing the religious rite on a group of Siraya people in the 17th century. The painting is credited to artist Adriean Souter and an unknown Chinese artist.

The painting will be displayed at the National Museum of Taiwan History in Tainan as part of the exhibition “Transcending 1624 – Taiwan and the World,” which opens on Thursday (Feb. 1). The painting is owned by a private collector and was lent to the museum for the exhibition, which will feature more than 100 works from 20 museums in Taiwan and abroad.

The museum said the exhibition explores Taiwan in the 1600s, an era in which Taiwan “leapt on to the world stage.” The museum said staff have been planning the exhibition for more than two years to showcase Taiwan’s history of interaction with the outside world over the past four centuries.

The museum said the oil painting arrived on Wednesday (Jan. 24), alongside items from Japan. Kobe City Museum has loaned the museum a 777-centimeter scroll for the exhibit depicting Chinese ships berthing in Nagasaki around 300 years ago, the museum said.

Centuries old painting showing Dutch and Siraya arrives in Taiwan
"Junius baptising the new Christians (aboriginal Taiwanese) at Formosa" (Facebook, National Museum of Taiwan History image)