Executed circa 1925-31.
Born in the Hague, Marius Bauer's taste for travel was awoken by his 1888 journey to Istanbul, funded by the dealer EJ Van Wisselingh. He later went to India in 1897-98, and Indonesia (Java and Bali) in August-November 1925. He returned to Indonesia in 1931, visiting Java, Bali and Sumatra, and attended a ceremony in the Yogya kraton.
Although the composition may appear to suggest a temple doorway, details such as the absence of reliefs around the doorway suggest Bauer has taken a degree of artistic licence with the setting, focusing attention instead on the figures. The inspiration for the scene is likely a building forming part of the kraton of Yogyakarta in central Java. The dress of the seated men is typical of central Java, such as the manner of blangkon folded and tied around the man's head. For a similar depiction of a standing man, see Javaan met kris (circa 1926), no. 72 in P. Ankum and J. de Hond et al., Marius Bauer 1867-1932 Oriëntalist, 2001.