Sunday, July 24, 2005

Adrien Le Mayeur de Merpres (1880-1958)

Le Mayeur, a Belgian aristocrat, is apparently sometimes described as Indonesia's Gaugin. He was an impressionist painter who moved to Sanur in 1932 at the age of 52 and stayed for 26 years.

The pictured painting is from the website of travel writer Harold Stephens, an interesting sounding fellow.

Another painting of Le Mayeur's called "Garden at Sanur" which sold for $A860,000 after an 80 year old Dutch born woman once friendly with Le Mayeur ran out of dosh in the Northern Queensland bush. According to The Age, the painting is of his wife, the famous Balinese dancer Ni Pollok, in various poses as if among a group of bare-breasted Balinese women gathering frangipani petals in their garden. His house is a museum in Sanur. Baliblog's take on it is here.

This is the take on the museum of another website:
"Also called the Ni Polok Museum, ... Ni Polok's daughter guides you; she owns the adjacent Polok Art Shop.

Set in a lush tropical garden of hibiscus and bougainvillea and adorned with statues, the gallery contains 92 paintings captioned in English and Indonesian, local artifacts, and some superb specimens of traditional Balinese carvings. Later works dramatically capture the people and scenes of Bali; earlier paintings, which depict Le Mayeur's extensive travels around Europe, tend to be in poor condition. Some paintings were executed on rough canvas made of woven palm leaves which Le Mayeur was forced to use during the Japanese occupation. The dark interior makes it difficult to view the works, but the stunning portraits and photographs of Ni Polok are the highlights of the museum.

Le Mayeur first settled in the village of Klandis, east of Denpasar, where he met Ni Polok, a star legong dancer and famed beauty. She agreed to model for Le Mayeur and became the subject of a number of his paintings, bringing him great success in exhibitions in Singapore. To the astonishment of the Balinese villagers who so feared the sea, the painter bought an isolated plot of land right on the beach at Sanur, where he built an elegant Balinese-style home. The artist painted during the day and at night entertained other gregarious travelers, providing them with huge Balinese feasts, dance performances, and the opportunity to purchase his paintings as a memento of their visit.

In 1935, Ni Polok and Le Mayeur were married. The couple lived in their lovely beach home until 1958, when they returned to Belgium so that he could be treated for cancer. Le Mayeur died the same year, without heirs, leaving his paintings to his wife. For many years Ni Polok managed the museum herself. She died in 1985 at the age of 85. The Indonesian government now looks after the house and collection."


Anonymous Janine said...

I went to Denpasar Bali last August 2007

I would like to keep your article on my blog

I am a writer an a painter ..

Adrien le Mayeur de Merpres and his paintings still stunning !


Janine Yasovant MPA.

5:46 am  
Blogger LUKISAN AFANDI said...

saya kolektor mau menjual lukisan Le Mayeur,hrg.4.5 M,pemilik lukisan Mantan Mendagri,lukisan bisa dilihat di komplek kementrian Jakarta,hanya khusus KOLEKTOR . Hub 0813 99 33 25 99.

11:00 am  
Blogger LUKISAN AFANDI said...

saya punya lukisan AFFANDI 1967,sertifikat,tema Barong Bali,hrg lelang 450 jt, // 48.387 USD
Komplek Mentri Jakarta / Hub 0813 99 33 25 99

11:04 am  
Blogger Panna said...

I've never been to Bali (unfortunately)... but I would like to thank you for having posted this beautiful article and link to Le Mayeur's Museum... I live in Italy, my sister and I are the nieces of this wonderful painter (our grandmother was Myriam Le Mayeur de Merpr├Ęs)...
Thank you!
Anna Paola

9:21 pm  
Blogger Panna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:22 pm  

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