Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ni Polok, dancer and muse

I went to Sanur, unnaturally interested in the Museum Le Mayeur (see my earlier post). It's a decrepit place, astonishing given the value of Le Mayeurs in the art market. This photo is what all the fuss was about: Ni Pollok, and, one suspects, her breasts. She was a dancer of the legong dance, and was the almost exclusive subject of Le Mayeur's gushy paintings. I liked going to this Museum; not because of the art which one suspects would be long forgotten well executed sentimental exoticism but for the legend of Le Mayeur and Polok, and their beachside idyll. Then Le Mayeur died, and his house became a museum while his wife was still living in it! As the sign in the bedroom says:
"This relatively small room used to be the Le Mayeurs' bedroom. They enjoyed using this bedroom so much [!] that they never shifted to any other room until their departure for medical treatment to Belgium, where the painter passed away at last in 1958. After the death of Le Mayeur, Ni Pollok kept on sleeping in this room even though sh had to allow visitors to enter her bedroom to have a look at some unique collections inside, such as a corner cupboard to keep valuable belongings at the south-west corner of the room, a few wooden boxes decorated with sea-shells used for a sea journey, a bed (already broken and now removed) in the midde of the room, its head toward the east, and a few paintings as well as photographs of Le Mayeur and the young Ni Popllok hanging on the wall."
It's hard not to think that Adrien was not more interested in his own legend than in his wife's wellbeing, but I suppose there is some explanation for the strange course of events.


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