Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
PROPERTY FROM AN ESTEEMED PRIVATE COLLECTION
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)

Mountain Landscape

Details
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
Mountain Landscape
signed and dated 'Souza 58' (lower right); further inscribed, titled and dated 'GALLERY ONE / F.N. SOUZA / MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE - 1958' (on the reverse)
oil on board
36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm.)
Painted in 1958
Provenance
Gallery One, London
The Collection of the artist
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
A. Kurtha, Francis Newton Souza: Bridging Western and Indian Modern Art, Ahmedabad, 2006, p. 37 (illustrated)

Brought to you by

Nishad Avari
Nishad Avari

Lot Essay

Mountain Landscape was painted in 1958, perhaps the apex of Francis Newton Souza’s career. Living in London it was the moment Souza had gained the patronage and recognition that allowed him to embark upon his most ambitious and fruitful projects. The artist met Harold Kovner, a wealthy New York hospital owner in Paris two years prior, and the American became his first major patron. Over the next four years Kovner commissioned many of his most significant works. In 1958 Souza was one of five painters alongside Ben Nicholson, John Bratby, Terry Frost and Ceri Richards invited to represent Great Britain at the Guggenheim International Award with his iconic painting Birth. Souza was now at the heart of the London art scene. This is evident in the dedication of an entire gallery to his paintings in the major exhibition All Too Human, currently on view at Tate Britain in London, focusing on prominent painters from the 20th Century London School.

In the late 1950s, Souza's painting became more experimental, with the artist beginning to play with the structure and composition of his works. His landscapes in particular offer a visual key to his evolution over these years. While many of his landscapes of the 1950s and 60s are centered on the recognizable features of the North London borough of Hampstead, where he lived and worked, Mountain Landscape appears more fantastical. The mountains in the foreground may well be inspired by the hills of Hampstead Heath near his studio, yet Souza's unique use of color and composition creates an overwhelming sense of tension and pathetic fallacy in this painting. With an almost Fauvist use of color, red houses fight for space against the green landscape while the mountains cut through a dark sky heightened with blues and yellow. Here, Souza focuses on the dichotomy between the urban and the pastoral, a battle that is as relevant today as it was when he painted Mountain Landscape.
;

More from South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

View All
View All