Francis Newton Souza Estate

Francis Newton Souza, Untitled, 1972. © Estate of F.N. Souza © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS

Artstor and the Francis Newton Souza Estate are collaborating to make approximately 4,200 images of Souza's artwork available in the Artstor Digital Library.

Born in Saligoa, Goa, India in 1924, Francis Newton Souza became the first of India's post-Independence modern painters to achieve high recognition in the West. Souza co-founded the influential Bombay Progressive Artists' Group in 1947 to encourage Indian artists to participate in the international avant-garde. He left India in 1949 at the invitation of the Indian High Commissioner to Great Britain to exhibit there. He lived in London until 1967, where prominent British art critics, John Berger, David Sylvester, and Edwin Mullins, among others, praised his expressionistic and often eclectic style and sometimes controversial subjects, which included highly-charged religious scenes and erotic nudes. According to Indian art historian Yashodhara Dalmia, "At the heart of Souza's creativity was the belief that society's destructive aspects shouldn't be suppressed, they should be aired and confronted." He moved to New York in 1967 and lived there until shortly before his death in 2002, at the age of 77.

Souza's works can be found in major museum collections around the world, including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham Museum of Art, the Wakefield Art Gallery, the Haifa Museum in Israel, the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas, the National Gallery of Modern Art in India, the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, and the Glenbarra Museum in Japan.

The Francis Newton Souza Estate comprised a collection of artwork that spanned six decades, from 1939-2001. It included paintings, works on paper, diaries, an unfinished book that outlines the artist's philosophy on art and life, an annotated library embracing an array of topics, personal and business correspondence, and a large number of photographs. The Francis Newton Souza Foundation is currently working on Souza's catalogue raisonné.