Francis Newton Souza, ‘Mother & Child’, 1961, Christie's South Asian + Chinese

Signature: signed and dated 'Souza 1961' (upper left); further bearing label 'Gallery One / London / Artist F. N. Souza / Title "Mother & Child" / Date 1961' (on the reverse)


Acquired from Gallery One, London in 1962 by Mr. Adler an American journalist working with the BBC. The strong mother symbolism of the painting was very meaningful for the Adler family -- they bought this painting just as they were growing their family and at a time when parenthood became even more clear and personal for them. This was the first painting acquired by the family. Thence by descent

About Francis Newton Souza

Francis Newton Souza was one of the first painters to achieve international recognition from a newly independent India, as well as a leading figure of its avant-garde movement. As a result of his time spent abroad, Souza’s style drew heavily from Expressionism and Art Brut. Often referred to as the “Indian Picasso”, Souza became known for his aggressive lines and thick application of color. He was fascinated with images of the sacred and the profane, and the boundary that divided them; his favorite subjects included the human figure, frequently depicted engaging in erotic acts and organized rituals of religion. Souza was also responsible for co-founding the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947, which sought to encourage artists to depict Indian subject matter with Western Modernist styles.

Indian, 1924-2002