Francis Newton Souza (India, 1924-2002) Nude

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Lot 318
Francis Newton Souza (India, 1924-2002)
Nude

Sold for £ 62,400 (US$ 81,970) inc. premium
Francis Newton Souza (India, 1924-2002)
Nude
signed and dated '59' upper left, oil on board, framed
120.5 x 59.5 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private Scottish collection. Acquired from a London auction house circa 1984

    'Souza treats the erotic in several ways. There are the huge, fleshy nudes who sprawl over his canvases. These are not really erotic paintings in the true sense, but variations on a conventional theme explored by European artists from Rubens and Boucher to Renoir and Modigliani. Souza brings to this European convention a manner more traditionally Indian than he uses with any other theme. It is, in fact, an Indian theme as much as a European one, which his other themes are not. His women with girdles and high rounded breasts [...] these clearly have their origins in Indian carvings and bronzes. Yet in spirit they are not traditional. His nudes are only occasionally painted as beautiful or even as graceful, and even when they are, they have little of that enigmatic composure which is a feature of classical Indian Art. On the whole his paintings of nudes are more gentle than most of his other work; they have less impassioned ferocity about them. At the same time they are often the most perverse and obsessed. The inelegant sexual poses, the blunt emphasis on the pregnant belly, the ravaged face. They suggest a personal fascination with the female body, blended with an almost Swiftian disgust with its natural function.'(Edwin Mullins, Souza, London, 1962, pp. 42-43. A similar work titled Standing Nude is illustrated on p. 61, pl. 23.)

Saleroom notices

  • Oil and gesso on board.
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