Francis Newton Souza

Francis Newton Souza

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Francis Newton Souza

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Francis Newton Souza (April 12, 1924 - March 28, 2002), commonly referred to as F. N. Souza, was an Indian artist. He was a founding member of the Progressive Artists' Group of Bombay, and was the first post-independence Indian artist to achieve high recognition in the West. According to The Times of India Souza's expressionistic style sought to illustrate both low-life and high energy, "Be it the sluts or the suits, the seamy side of life or the steamy, the gnomish, pox-scarred boy from Goa who went on to become one of the first Indian artists to be feted in the salons of Europe, laid it bare."

Early life and education

Born in village of Saligao, Goa to Roman Catholic parents, he lost his father when he was three months old. When he survived an attack of small-pox, which left him scarred, his grateful mother named him Francis after the patron saint of Goa, St Francis Xavier. His mother was a seamstress and one of Souza's better-known paintings was that of a sewing machine. He attended St. Xavier's College in Bombay, but was expelled for drawing graffiti in the loo. He claimed he was only correcting the original graffiti because it was so bad but the priests didn't buy that. He studied at the India's premier art school, Sir J. J. School of Art, but was suspended in 1945 because of his support for the Quit India Movement.


After this he founded the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group to encourage Indian artists...
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