"Four women (for times his wife and favorite /only model-muse Ni Pollok) are busy in the Garden from their Sanur, Bali House. This very painting is a good example of the mature style development by the Belgian Post-Impressionist Jean le Mayeur (1880-1958) during the years just after the Second World War. Here he shows his mega talent in rendering his qualities as a colorist using o.a. his usual pink , purple, orange and yellow in all its nuances. He plays in an artistic way with the sublime, sparkling sunlight and in combination with the beauty of the scene his creates an idyllic world again."
The Belgian painter Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès is one of the most celebrated 20th century artists who lived and painted in Bali. His works are admired for combining the very best of Western Impressionist approaches and a reverent eye of the Balinese landscape and its people. As a young painter emerging from years spent at the WW1 battlefield as a war-painter, he sought to follow the legacy of French post-impressionist, Paul Gauguin, and find a retreat in exotic world and travels. In 1932, his quest took him to the Indonesian island of Bali, which served as his inspiration for the next 26 years. The pictorial themes Le Mayeur worked on in Bali were mostly found in and around the villa he built for himself and his wife, Ni Pollok at the beachfront of Sanur. Amongst the various themes, women in front of the house or in the garden picking flowers is one of the most iconic and enduring in his oeuvre. Balinese garden with ladies (Lot 1040) is a magnificent example.
Le Mayeur constantly endeavored to capture 'beauty, sunlight and silence'. Balinese Garden with Ladies is a manifestation of his artistic pursuits, perfectly encapsulating his approach towards the use of light and dark to create tension in his work. The composition is framed by a low brick wall and the deep shade of tropical leaves, as sun's rays burst from within the background. Le Mayeur deftly captures the luminosity of light filtering through the flora and fauna. A profusion of flowers in resplendent blue, violet, red and yellow jewel-tones dominate the upper half of the composition.
The color palette is unusual for the artist, as he plays with contrasts of neutral pastels and deep warm tones, achieving great depth within the painting. His compositions in the post-war period tend to intensify in complexity. In Balinese Garden with Ladies. Le Mayeur applies thick impasto with concise strokes and introduces a heavier use of green. Unlike most post-war compositions where the figures appear smaller, the women in Balinese garden with ladies occupy the canvas with an elegant grandeur. Their bodies move harmoniously within the romanticized scene. Le Mayeur works of such superb quality are increasingly rare at auction, works by the artist of similar size and period have achieved prices well beyond the current estimates.