Untitled Oil on board, framed Signed and dated lower right "Souza, 6". 15 3/8 x 19 1/2 in. (39 x 49.5 cm)
Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) was born in Goa to Roman Catholic parents. Expelled from school in 1939, he gave up the idea of becoming a priest and joined the British Sir J.J. School of Art. He later became the founder of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG). PAG, set up in 1947, was one of a number of left-wing groups active in the 1930-40s Indian cultural scene. It embraced the Surrealist, Expressionist, Primitivist and Cubist styles of the international avant-garde art movements.
The landscape with simplified church buildings was a common theme for Souza throughout his career. The placement of the buildings behind barren trees executed in a cold palette could be seen as a metaphor for his conflict with his faith and the influence of Catholic church. A closely related watercolor composition painted in 1956, sold at Saffron Art, 10-12 May 2005, lot 40. Also compare with another work on paper sold at Christie's, New York, 13 September 2011, lot 28.
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