Balinese themed works by Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès are arguably the most significant and distinct works of his oeuvre. Depicted in layers of impastos, the repetition of brush strokes and surrealistic beauty captures the sunlight hues and lithe gestures of figures. Balinese life has certainly been expressed in various stylistic approaches as numerous artists give their own interpretation of the island’s life and spirit. In Le Mayeur’s case, this subject and style has become a part of the artist’s hallmark.
Distinguished for his impressionistic paintings of composed vivid colors, Le Mayeur’s work expresses the female figure in various styles. The composition in Women in the Garden Preparing Offerings portrays a unique setting. The artist lures the attention of the viewer to the two women under the shade, seated in tranquility. Framing his focus on the female form, his subject interprets postures emphasizing facets of the female anatomy. Observing the different angles, Le Mayeur studies their traditional attire, body language and expressions – articulating the artist’s desire to capture the charm of Bali’s essence and aesthetics. In contrast to his usual works, which place an emphasis on sunlight – this painting presents a comparatively darker palette. The cooler loom radiates the tropical colours of the island in a different light, capturing the ocean breeze as it floods from the garden foliage into the balcony.
Bali has proven to be a rich source of inspiration and vision for Le Mayeur. This scenery is none other than Le Mayeur’s backyard. An idyllic sanctuary designed to provide harmony for the artist and his muse Ni Pollok. The concept of the garden has been central to depicting Bali’s spiritual aura. It is referred to as a space for imagination and bliss, a magical paradise. Alike the prolific impressionist Claud Monet, Le Mayeur shared the same philosophy of nature’s poetry.
Embellishing the history of Bali, Le Mayeur’s adoration for beauty, light and serenity is well depicted. Through his subjects he has successfully captured the tropical colors and technique with minimal effort. Lot 339 is a fine example of his work from this period with a theme that is perhaps the artist’s most beloved. Illustrating a true gem such as this work has become truly difficult to possess.
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