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"Untitled" 1986

Francis Newton Souza


(1924 - 2002)

Born in Goa in 1924, F.N. Souza studied art initially in J.J. School of Art, Bombay. Later he attended Central School of Art, London and Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. He was the first Indian artist to achieve grand success in the West. His works have been shown extensively throughout the world. 

Francis Newton Souza's work is the strongest among all equals. Arguably the greatest and most celebrated artist in Indian art history Souza is the face of Indian contemporary art internationally. He was instrumental in forming the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947, the group that made vital contribution to the modern and contemporary art movement in India. The art of our nation owes much to Souza. His works can take you in another world. His talent shows in the diversity of his works. From landscapes to nudes, still life to strong heads Souza has done it all. With strong lines possessed with power and authority his work could influence you at the first look of it. Be it a sexual man-woman relationship or a lovely mother and child, still life or landscapes, the lines display amazing sense of pride and self confidence that only Souza could show.

Eminent art critics and writers like John Berger, Edwin Mullins, Anthony Ludwig, George Melly, Richard Bartholomew, Yashodhara Dalmia, have written extensively on him.

Souza died on 28th March 2002 at the age of 77 while on a visit to Mumbai. Tate, Britain paid tribute to him in 2005 by organizing an exhibition of his work titled Religion and Erotica.