A painting by Goan artist the Late Francis Newton Souza has broken its own auction price record. The artist’s epic artwork, ‘Birth’, was sold for USD 4.08 million at the Christie’s auction in New York.
The auction has established the world record for the artist. ‘Birth’ held the previous world record price for a work by the artist at USD 2.5 million.
The present owner of the ‘Birth’ is Anil Ambani’s wife Tina Ambani-run Harmony Arts Foundation, which had bought it at a 2008 Christie’s auction. Even then, it was the highest price fetched by the artist’s work at an auction ever.
The artwork has been bought by Delhi-based collector Kiran Nadar, who will probably showcase it in her museum.
Commonly referred as F.N. Souza, he painted ‘Birth’ in 1955, and it ranks as one of his best work.
The pregnant nude in the painting is said to be his then partner Lisolette who bore him three children.
He was the first post-independence Indian artist to achieve high recognition in the West.
Souza, a lifelong rebel who was expelled from St Xavier’s school in Mumbai for drawing lewd graffiti on the toilet and later from JJ for taking part in the Quit India movement, moved to London in 1949.
His other works include ‘the pregnant outstretched nude with hairpins’, ‘the autobiographical man in a priest’s tunic’, ‘a still life on the window ledge and beyond the window’, ‘a townscape with corniced buildings and tall steeples’.
These works carried a price tag of USD 2.2-2.8 million.