One of Bali’s famous expats was Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, a Belgian painter, who came to Bali in 1932. His story is that after travelling the world, and painting scenes of places such as Benares in india, he came too Bali, living first close to Denpasar. There he met a 15 year old Balinese dancer, Ni Pollok who was considered the best legong dancer in the whole of Bali. Le Mayeur indended only to stay in Bali for 8 months, but after painting Ni Pollok, and getting romantically involved, he decided to stay in Bali for good. Le Mayeur built a small house on Sanur Beach, which is now a museam. Admission is 2,000rp and the hours are Sun-Fri 8am-4pm. Inside the bungalow, Mike and I viewed some of Le Mayeur’s oil paintings, many of which feature the semi-clad Ni Pollok, or other Balinese ladies in the process of some activity, such as weaving.
Le Mayeur’s style, oil on canvas, with heavy almost impressionist dobs of paint, create a great picture of his world back then. The interior of the bungalow we visited, had plentiful Balinese wall and door carvings, the chunky stuff, with flower patterns painted in red and gold. At the back of the bungalow was the small roon Le Mayeur and Ni Pollok used as their bedroom. The posted description says its was their favourite room, which they never changed since moving in, and that many happy days were spent there. Le Mayeur lived in the house with Ni Pollok, until his death in 1958. She died in 1985 and the house was passed to the Indonesian government, becoming a museum. You can view the Le Mayeur museum in 30 minutes if you are in a hurry. Access in via Jl. Hang Tuah, go to the beach path and turn right.