In the early 1960's, Francis Newton Souza embarked on a tour of several European capitals beginning with Rome where he received a scholarship from the Italian government. This journey also allowed him access to a number of art collections expanding his worldview and giving him license to appropriate and yet create a style of his own to which eminent art critic, John Berger once before said, Souza "straddles many traditions but serves none." (New Statesman, 1955).
This nude by Francis Newton Souza's exhibits a bold and unrestrained sexuality, stylistically referencing the disordered intensity and the raw unfinished lines of Art Brut, pioneered by Jean Dubuffet. With the bravado of Edouard Manet's Olympia, Souza's nude stares directly at the viewer unashamed by the nakedness of her flesh. With its ornamental patterning and texture, one sees vestiges of Henri Matisse's Odalisque and yet her seductive aura conjures Francisco de Goya's works as early as 1968 and throughout the 1970's and 80's. works as early as 1968 and throughout the 1970's and 80's.