Untitled (Landscape), oil on canvas, signed and dated '59 lower right, further signed and dated on reverse, framed, 75 x 59.5cm (29 1/2 x 23 7/16in).
Provenance: Private UK Collection; acquired by the Gollop family directly from the artist between 1959 and 1967.
Mr. Gollop was Souza's accountant from the late 1950s through to 1967. The Gollop family, as collectors, are referenced in Edwin Mullins. Souza, London 1962, p.106.
The buildings presented in Francis Newton Souza's early landscapes are precarious while paradoxically steadfast constructions. Boxy edifices are formed through the stacking of rectilinear shapes. The resulting structures resemble towers formed with children's building blocks. However their stability is affirmed through the artist's use of thick black lines to cement the buildings within the landscape.
In this particular 1959 painting, the simple use of red, green and yellow to tint the various segments of the houses reaffirms the sense of childlike innocence. However the air of simplicity is deceptive, as the artist draws inspiration from modern European tradition while disguising his Goan origins. Souza's placement of the grassy field with trees and bushes in the foreground demonstrates an interest in creating a sense of depth in the painting, proposing a dialogue between a flat and more spatially aware aesthetic. This type of serene landscape is markedly different to Souza's frenzied cityscapes which begin to appear in the early 1960s.