FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF PETER JACKSON
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)

Untitled (Roman Landscape)

Details
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
Untitled (Roman Landscape)
signed and date ‘Souza 1961’ (upper left); further signed and dated ‘F.N. SOUZA / 1961’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
37 1⁄4 x 37 1⁄4 in. (94.6 x 94.6 cm.)
Painted in 1961
Provenance
Acquired by Merlin Jackson, circa early 1960s
Thence by descent

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Lot Essay

Francis Newton Souza painted Untitled (Roman Landscape) in 1961, shortly after returning from a six-month stint in Rome on a scholarship from the Italian government. Souza’s time in Rome greatly influenced his practice, both in his choice of subject and in his painting style. Although Souza did not title this painting, the setting bears a strong resemblance to the view of St. Peter’s Basilica across the Ponte Saint’Agnello in the Vatican. Here the dome and spires of the Basilica tower above corniced buildings. Souza’s powerful and iconic black line deliniates bridges, buildings and piercing pediments, further suggesting the Catholic architecture which informed so much of his oeuvre. The artist's choice of palette here, with rich reds and gold contrasting subtler greens and bronzes, perhaps also recalls the stunning stained glass windows that adorn churches all across Rome. Although likely painted in Souza’s North London home in Hampstead, Untitled (Roman Landscape) is an homage to his time in Rome.
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