This painting refers to the history of the Sultanate of Demak, the first Islamic kingdom in Java established in 1478. At the time of succession, the Sultan Trenggono’s heir, Sultan Prawoto, was challenged by the brother of Sultan Trenggono, Prince Sekar Seda Lepen, who was eventually killed. In 1561 Sunan Prawoto and his family were all killed by Prince Sekar Seda Lepen’s son, Arya (Arjo in Javanese language) Penangsang, who then became the ruler of Demak.
The painting portrays the battle of Arya Penangsang with Joko Tingkir, the Adipati (kind of governor of a specific territory) of Panjang and son in law of Sultan Prawoto. In the battle, Arya Penangsang was first wounded by the “magical” lance/spear named Kyai Plered of Sutawijaya (in the painting) and finished later with Sutawija’s magical keris (short knife), named Setan Koben. After the battle, Joko Tingkir moved the center of power from the Sultanate of Demak to Panjang and established the Sultanate of Pajang.