Following the calling of Paul Gauguin, who believed that an artist should 'search for a nature that's suited to one's temperament', Theo Meier visited the Tahiti in 1932. He was very much disappointed with Tahiti, which had then been popularised and commercialised with crowds of visiting tourists. Failing to find his ideal community of simple people, untainted by Western materialism but still preserving, and more importantly, practicing an indigenous culture on the pacific island, Theo came to Bali in 1936. It was Bali who provided the ideal community for Theo.
Theo's style was greatly influenced by the Fauvist Gauguin, certain oeuvres of the artist bear striking resemblance to the master's works. Unlike Le Mayeur, Bonnet and Hofker who strove at varying degrees for the portrayal of reality, Theo subordinated colours, perspectives and forms to the expression of emotions. The artist has once commented "I am less concerned with an imitation of Nature than with a representation of my impression of her, my concept, my dream; but abstract painting is not to my taste. My mind is too much involved with the senses, with the visual, not tied up with a depiction of reality, but purely as the concept of an object". (Garrett Kam, Perceptions of Paradise, Neka Museum, 1993, p. 104).
Theo's works after his visit to Bali were greatly conditioned by two main factors, the first was Gauguin who had given him a 'wild palette' that rendered shapes and colours to his emotions and the second was the subject-matter of the Ubud School. The present lot typifies the artist's bold use of colours and the flattening of the composition is a direct adaptation of traditional Balinese works where the sitter is portrayed almost like a relief sculpture on the wall of Borobudur.