Some of Akbar Padamsee's earliest works show his interest with representing human faces, a theme that has been prevalent in his work over the last fifty years. By his own admission, the human figure and the face are themes that he is obsessed with. "Expression is all the more powerful when it is about a solitary figure or just a face." (As told to Arup K. Datta, Padamsee, Exhibition Catalogue, Sanskriti Art Gallery, Calcutta 1992.) He enjoys focusing on the face as that communicates the character and mood of the person most effectively.
The present work from 1962 may belong to his Prophet series, done from the mid-fifties onwards. The series focuses on depicting solitary male figures with slim and angular faces, delineated with strong black lines. They are usually shown wearing closely patterned garments. This face in particular, lacks the expression of suffering that some of his early figures show, and instead has a tranquil, semi-glazed expression as it looks into space and beyond. Padamsee says "...I paint all these faces from my mind and they seldom resemble a known character." (ibid.)