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F N Souza
(1924 - 2002)

Lovers



A significant body of Souza’s oeuvre is dedicated to expressing his tormented obsession with the Catholic church and its dogmas – the passion with which he renders these subjects is a cathartic effort to address the inherent conflict and hypocrisy which he felt, growing up in an environment steeped in Catholicism.

This painting is subversive in its portrayal of the male figure, probably a cardinal draped in his red...

A significant body of Souza’s oeuvre is dedicated to expressing his tormented obsession with the Catholic church and its dogmas – the passion with which he renders these subjects is a cathartic effort to address the inherent conflict and hypocrisy which he felt, growing up in an environment steeped in Catholicism.

This painting is subversive in its portrayal of the male figure, probably a cardinal draped in his red “cassock-like” robe: With a fixed stare towards the viewer, he is sexually engaged, but still aloof, towards the woman who, unlike her lover, is nude and appears more vulnerable. They are on a grassy plane, clearly within a forbiddin relationship, with the background view of the town and probably a church. Significantly, the clergyman is shown with arrows in his neck: “Arrows in the neck like flies mean affliction…”(F.N. Souza, Words and Lines, Villiers Publications Ltd., 1959)

‘Every outstanding painter has his vein of madness, his streak of the devil – the fiery center of the imagination set at the farthest point from academism… It is just that what compels an artist to paint a great picture as distinct from composing a mere exercise in paint, is an explosion of feelings too strong and too pure to obey a rational scheme of things. With Souza’s paintings this inner spark is a violent one, destructive, cantankerous, sadistic. Aggression and pain are closely linked, as though every picture opened up a private wound and acted as a purge in the same time. It is a world that is grim, grim brilliant, harsh and sensual: a world with little time for compassion or meditation, but only for recurring dream-like images of longing. On one hand the deformed, gesticulating figures and the menacing cities silhouetted against the glow of unseen fires; on the other hand the saint-like figures, standing lost in a landscape, or the erotic nudes who somehow always manage to remain so very impersonal.’(Edwin Mullins, Souza, Blond Pub., 1962, p.40)



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  Lot 44 of 200  

AUCTION DECEMBER 2005
6-8 DECEMBER 2005

Estimate



Winning Bid
$1,486,100
Rs 6,53,88,400

(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)

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ARTWORK DETAILS

F N Souza
Lovers

Signed and dated in English (upper left)
1955
Oil on masonite
48 x 72 in (121.9 x 182.9 cm)

Category: Painting
Style: Figurative


 









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