Bali was to become a rich source of inspiration for Le Mayeur, and he devoted himself to the task of depicting his immediate surroundings: the Balinese people, the luxuriant flora, the beach and the sea, usually bathed in exuberant sunlight. For Le Mayeur, the physical beauty of the island was complimented by the artistic creativity of the islanders themselves. 'Les Balinais aussi sont des artistes' (The Balinese are artists in their own right), said the artist. (Drs. Jop Ubbens and Cathinka Huizing, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres: Painter-Traveller, Wijk en Aalburg, 1995, p. 101). Like many of the visitors to the island, he was fascinated with the rich creation of decorative arts, amazed at the abundance of weavers, woodcarvers, silversmiths as well as dancers.
As important as the people would be the very activities that gather the community. True to the spirit of painter-traveller, Le Mayeur upon his arrival on Bali made conscientious efforts to visit the temples, religious ceremonies or pasar (market), so that he could be completely immersed in the atmosphere of the island. Comparable to his early depictions of the Arabian street scenes, the present lot recorded the bustling festivity of the Balinese community before a performance. The later works of Bali are almost, without exception, mainly depictions of the artist's immediate surroundings, which is his residence on the Sanur beach with the interior of the house, the garden and the lotus pond as the principle compositions and last but not least, Ni Pollok, his exclusive model. The present lot has yet to contain the overwhelming sense of familiarity in his later works as the Balinese surroundings became almost a second nature and Ni Pollok dominates the canvases as his wife and only model. The present lot represents the impression of a curious onlooker, inquisitive of a foreign culture and yet appreciative of his beauty and engaged the viewer with its unpretentious spontaneity.