Adrien Jean Le Mayeur (1880 - 1958), one of the most celebrated Indo-European painters, was born into an aristocratic Belgian family in 1880. Le Mayeur initially studied civil engineering, but his real passion was painting.
After graduation, Le Mayeur devoted himself full time to his artwork and travelled extensively. As Le Mayeur was independently wealthy, he was not driven by commercial means and was thus free to choose his themes and techniques. This freedom led Le Mayeur on a long journey in search of beauty. He lived for a time in Marseilles, St. Tropez and Venice, and later journeyed to North Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East, India and Tahiti. Eventually in the early 1930’s, Le Mayeur found his way to Bali where he settled down to live and work. He would go on to become the “Indonesian Gaugin” and arguably the most highly renowned artist working in Southeast Asia in the 20th Century.
“Ni Pollok” is a portrait of his Balinese wife who was a legong dancer. She is a frequent subject matter in his works and he even created a series of drawings and paintings of her. During 1937, Le Mayeur exhibited an extensive amount of works of Ni Pollok in Singapore and it earned him international recognition. With Ni Pollok as his favourite model, Le Mayuer could not have been more artistically expressive and successful in his career.
Sotheby’s Singapore, 9 October 2005