PERCHED on the verge of delightful Sanur Beach, Le Mayeur Museum Sanur may be rarely known. It is slightly hidden as to get the entrance, visitors must come into a small alley. But do not worry because there is a signboard on seaside pavement.
Initially, the Le Mayeur Museum was a comfortable and pleasant abode to live away from the crowds at that time. This is the reason why the location was chosen as a residence and painting studio as it generated abundant new inspirations.
The name of the Le Mayeur Museum itself is taken from the name of its founder, Andrien Jean Le Mayeur De Merpres. He is a painter of Belgian nobility and was born on February 9, 1880 in Ixelles, Brussels. Academically, he was an architectural scholar. Perhaps because of the artistic talent he inherited from his father who was also a painter, Le Mayeur was then more concerned with painting.
Having studied at Ernest Blanc Garin, he finally decided to travel around the world to Italy, France, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Thailand, India and Cambodia. At the end, he landed in Bali in 1932 and his ship landed at the port of Buleleng, North Bali.
From here, he then traveled to Denpasar and rented a house at Banjar Kelandis, Denpasar. Here, he met Ni Nyoman Pollok, a beautiful Legong dancer, born on March 3, 1917. Le Mayeur asked him to be a model of his painting to be exhibited in Singapore in 1933.
Thanks to the success of the exhibition, Le Mayeur became famous. Three years later, they married in a Balinese traditional ceremony. After that, they built a house on the edge of Sanur Beach on an area of 32 acres which is also used as a painting studio.
In 1956, the Minister of Education, Teaching and Culture of the RI, Bahder Djohan, visited Le Mayeur’s home. He was impressed by the collection and his work, and then asked Le Mayeur to make his house a museum. The idea was welcomed by Le Mayeur.
Le Mayeur died on 18 July 1958 in Brussels at the age of 78 of ear cancer after fulfilling his dream of establishing a museum. As promised before, Ni Pollok finally handed over what her husband left to the Indonesian government and dedicated her to a museum. Meanwhile, Ni Nyoman Pollok died on July 27, 1985 at the age of 68.
Now the Le Mayeur Museum is a tourist destination, which can be visited easily, when you are on vacation in the Sanur area. Le Mayeur paintings amount to approximately 75 paintings on various media such as 28 pieces on canvas, 25 pieces on hardboard and 22 others on woven thatch leaf, This museum is worth a visit for lovers of painting or art in general.