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

Untitled (Sitting Nude)

Details
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
Untitled (Sitting Nude)
signed and dated ‘Souza 63’ (upper right)
oil on canvas
48 1⁄2 x 30 in. (123.2 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1963
Provenance
Acquired by Merlin Jackson, circa early 1960s
Thence by descent

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Lot Essay

Francis Newton Souza's lifelong predilection for painting the female figure is renowned. The female form, in artistic terms, was his muse, providing both a creative spark and an arena for experimentation and expression. The present painting, an eroticized yet intimate scene, is likely a depiction of Souza's partner at the time, Liselotte de Kristian. The artist captures his subject in a state of undress, sitting coyly on a throne-like chair. The painting has a playful sense of intimacy, as if Souza has frozen in paint a moment of romantic exhibitionism, when the subject is revealing herself to her lover. The delicate details of her jewelry and face give the sitter an almost angelic quality, while her static seated pose, almost contrapposto, endows her with a statuesque presence. Despite this, the viewer can sense how hard the sitter is trying to keep still while she is being painted, with her faint smile betraying a playful, impatient curiosity. Whether this interest is in the artist or the artwork is unknown, but what is clear is that this is one of Souza’s most sensitive and loving portrayals of the female figure, devoid of any violent sexualization or overt salaciousness.

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