Le Mayeur painting discovered in Dublin to be sold in Singapore
Indo-European artist’s painting to be sold by Bonhams
Two Women Arranging Flowers in The Interior, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur will be auctioned by Bonhams in Singapore. The painting, with an estimate of HK$1,800,000 –2,800,000 (€194,510–€302,505), was discovered two months ago in Dublin.
A never-before-seen painting by Indonesia-based Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur that came to Dublin via the Netherlands is now travelling back to Asia – where it was painted – after more than half a century.
The painting will appear on the market for the first time at Bonhams South East Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale on Thursday, April 22nd.
The colourful work was discovered two months ago in Dublin, having been purchased directly from the artist in the early 1950s by Dutch collector Isaac Van Bueren, who had moved to the Indonesian Island of Bali after his first wife and child were killed in a Nazi concentration camp.
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, a self-declared impressionist who became a pioneering Indo-European artist, moved to Bali himself in 1932 at the age of 52. Here he fell for Legong dancer Ni Wayan Pollok Tjoeglik; a 15-year-old girl who began as his muse and ended up as his wife.
No doubt today there would be questions on the nature of this relationship given the near 40-year age gap, and the fact the Legong dancers were at the time pre-pubescent girls. The entry on his Wikipedia page – “the beauty and splendid figure of Ni Pollok had made Le Mayeur enjoy his stay in Bali” – may also raise eyebrows.
The house Le Mayeur shared with Ni Pollok – as she later became known – is today a museum, containing about 80 pieces of the artist’s work, along with his collection of Balinese art and local artefacts.
Le Mayeur once said: “You will understand my paintings wherever you may see them.For everything in this little paradise which I created for myself was made to be painted.”
Two Women Arranging Flowers in the Interior will be shown for the first time in public in Hong Kong and Singapore prior to its sale on April 22nd in Singapore, and is expected to fetch between HK$1,800,000-2,800,000 (€194,510–€302,505).
Pope’s skull cap
In Waterford on Saturday, April 24th, RJ Keighery has an unusual offering in its sale of in excess of 500 lots.
Included, along with a ‘superb quality’ crucifix of Pugin style estimated at €1,000–€1,500 and unusual boot lamps fashioned from a pair of riding boots (€300–€500), is a zucchetto (skull cap) that belonged to one of the most controversial popes of the last few hundred years.
Worn by Pope Pius XII in 1957, with a photograph and certificate signed in Italian by a Cameriere Segreto (secret waiter or chaplain) it is set in a glass case (€800–€1,200).
Last year the Vatican unsealed its archive on the wartime papacy of Pius XII, which was kept secret for decades on account of accusations that he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust.
Known as “Hitler’s Pope” by critics, it is alleged that he was aware of the mass murder of Jews, whereas the Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to save Jews. Over 200 researchers had requested access to the mountains of documents the day the archive opened.
The Vatican first published extracts from the archive four decades ago, in a work compiled by the Jesuits, but critics said that crucial pieces were missing – essentially saying that there were records that Pius XII received about the concentration camps, but not his replies by return.