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The period of Majapahit

After the death of Erlangga, Java went once more into decadence as a power, and various frustrated attempts to regain its former glory followed. During this period the hold on Bali relaxed and the island regained its political independence until the fourteenth century, when the new East Javanese empire of Madjapahit finally conquered its enemies and became supreme over the archipelago. Bali was made a vassal of Madjapabit, A.D. 1343, after vigorous campaigns against the famed Dalam Bedaulu, last of the Pedieng dynasty and now classed as a mythical demon of great power

After Bali was conquered, the generals of Madjapabit establisbed a new dynasty of Javanese colonial rulers in Gelgel near Klungkung. A century later Madjapabit collapsed under the pressure of Islam, and Javanese rule finally gave way to a number of independent Balinese feudal lords, the descendants of the Javanese nobility, who were scattered all over the island. But in the period of years between the classic Sailendras and parvenu Madjapahit the art of Java suffered a great transformation, which was similarly felt in Bali. Under King Rayasanagara (Rajasanagara) , better known by his native name Havarn Wuruk, Madjapabit became the most powerful empire of Indonesia, but being strong nationalists, the Javanese of Madjapahit had repudiated the esoteric classic spirit and had 'reverted to native ideas, with the result that their art became strongly Javanized. Having lost its austerity and primitivism in the process, their art became earthly and realistic, taking the character of a sensuous folk-art, intricate and essentially decorative, with a predominance of flaming motifs, volutes and spirals, leaves and flowers, animals and scenes from daily life; losing altogether its religious character.

Balinese art of the epoch of Madjapabit and its continuation went even further in the love of unrestrained decoration and developed a freer and more fantastic art than that of Java of the same time. Although resembling the style of the ruins of Panataran in East Java, Balinese art is not the art of Java transplanted into Bali, but a parallel art, made even more Baroque by additional decorative elements from China. Tropical vegetation in stone invaded the architecture in the same way that and parasites would engulf an abandoned monument in the hot house atmosphere of Bali.

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