Francis Newton SOUZA


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Francis Newton SOUZA

Price of a painting signed Souza: 6,000 – 4,000,000 €.

Artist’s quote for a print or etching: 60 – 2,000€.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €300 – €20,000

If you wish to have a painting by the painter appraised, our painting experts are at your disposal for a free valuation.

Francis Newton Souza, “raw positive energy”

Francis Newton Souza was born in 1924 in Goa, India, in the town of Saligao to a practising Catholic family.

Affected by a virulent form of smallpox, the young boy emerged miraculously from this dramatic episode, from which he was scarred for life. His works are also influenced by this, and the dark tones and austere surroundings of his paintings may have something to do with it.

Having repeatedly defied authority, his education was sequenced by successive expulsions, first from St. Xavier’s College in Bombay and then during his art training at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay.

Politically committed Souza joined the Communist Party of India in 1947.

In 1949, the young man left Mumbai, where his family had settled during his childhood, and moved to London. His difficult integration into the art scene was compensated by a job as a journalist.

On recommendation, the influential London art dealer Victor Musgrave, owner of the One Gallery, allowed the artist to exhibit his work in 1955. Crowds flocked to the exhibition and it was a success.

An avant-garde culture at odds with Indian tradition

Souza was a founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay, founded in 1947.

It is a collective of artists from the Indian scene who strive to break free from the constraints of tradition by initiating a modern form of artistic expression. Together they are committed to promoting the international avant-garde.

His field of artistic exploration is vast, and the painter illustrates himself as much in a landscape register as in still lifes or in the nude genre. Architectural forms are simplified, the human figure is reminiscent of cubist geometry, and expressionist vocabulary is prevalent.

His artistic reflection is nourished by existential questions and questions about the activism of his time.

Exhibitions as an engine of recognition

His work was partially presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1954, a triggering event that allowed Souza to glimpse the possibilities of his art.

Thus, he managed to make a name for himself through his exhibitions, which enabled him to obtain a certain visibility and to gradually establish his reputation.

At a Christie’s auction in 2008, an iconic work by the artist entitled Birth sold for $2.5 million, becoming the world record for an Indian painting on the art market.

It was put up for sale again in 2015 and fetched almost 4 million dollars, again at Christie’s.

Recognising Francis Newton Souza’s signature

Like many artists, Francis Newton Souza did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

Appraise and sell a painting by Francis Newton Souza

If you own a Francis Newton Souza painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.