Assigned by Asean Museum as a researcher for Le Mayeur’s paintings, Aminudin visited and conducted the physical research in The Le Mayeur Museum, a residence and museum of Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès (1880-1958), where the artist was active. Aminudin examined and studied the style, technique and subjects of this impressionist who later became a pioneering Indo-European artist in middle 20th century. The main purpose of the research is to examine and compare between the origin of Le Mayeur’s oeuvres in the artist’s museum and those of duplications in the market.
The art fraud trade of Le Mayeur involves a wide range of professionals who work in very different areas of the market. It endangers the finance of collectors and international heritage representing a safe asset for investments. During the art market blooms on a global scale, due diligence of art authenticity has become more and more important not only in developing countries, especially Asia area, but also rests of the world.
Located right on the beachfront in Sanur, Denpasar – Bali island, The Le Mayeur Museum was established several years after the artist passed away in Belgium. Based upon a Deed of Conveyance Number 37 in 28th August 1957 signed by his wife, Ni Nyoman Pollok had given the artworks, studio and land inherited from his husband to Government of Republic of Indonesia. The studio and land were then to be used as the Le Mayeur Museum. One of the purposes of this museum is to entertain the public and maintain historical artworks or paintings memorable for today’s society. The museum reflects Bali societal values and background that is accessible to everyone or visitors without the exclusion of any gender, religion or race.
The Le Mayeur Museum displays different categories, canvas and colors. They are mostly framed by wooden frame expressing imagination to invent a unique beauty of Le Mayeur’s wife and muse, Ni Pollok, surrounded by his panoramic garden in Sanur – Bali. His works capture the daily ceremonial activities of his wife and maidens with their sensational poses depicted around natural scenes by using a layering to construct impression of their subjects. Aminudin suggests that Le Mayeur’s oeuvres generate a sense of serenity and sets the mood in a romantic tone packed by unique Balinese culture. This feature is created by the colors, layers and bold brushstroke, the natural setting, and the Balinese tradition style that Le Mayeur chose to use in these paintings.
Le Mayeur’s paintings conveyed sentiment of distinctive subjects compared to works from other artists in Indonesia, the process in which he selected subject seemed beauty and sensational at best with thick brushstrokes impart upon the painting an air of spontaneity reflecting the Impressionist credo, although of the artist had his own rationale for what he chose to paint. Aminudin said, “Le Mayeur’s paintings reflects the artist’s physical and cultural journeys. The artist represented a fusion of his former lives in Europe, the defiance of that time, and the promise of the future in his new home, Bali island.”
Under the adept fluidity of Le Mayeur’s brushstrokes, it is hard for duplicators to imitate the artist’s original works for art fraud in the recent eras. However, every art shop, art shows and flea markets, the reproductions are actively bought and sold. Buyers and sellers hook up by advertising and listing online, and in paper-based art publications. The most important question, now, is how the collectors really could reach the degree of painting authenticity based on the museum standard.