F.N. Souza

Two Saints in a Landscape


Not on display

F.N. Souza 1924–2002
Acrylic paint on canvas
Support: 1283 × 959 mm
frame: 1544 × 1219 × 95 mm
Presented by A.J. Muirhead 1965

Display caption

Some artists in this display address spirituality through non-Christian imagery. Others such as Souza, who was raised as a Catholic, continued to consider these issues through traditional Christian iconography.

Here, the jumble of buildings in the upper part of the painting contrasts sharply with the austerely simple landscape that surrounds the two saints. This marked division suggests the separation of the material and spiritual worlds. Likewise, the formal clarity of the figures compared with the visual confusion of the city may signify a state of grace.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

F.N. Souza 1924-2002

T00725 Two Saints in a Landscape 1961

Inscr. ‘Souza 61’ t.l.
Acrylic on canvas, 50½ x 37¾ (128.5 x 96).
Presented by A. J. Muirhead 1965.
Coll: Bought from Gallery One by Penelope Mortimer 1961; A. D. Peters; Victor Musgrave; A. J. Muirhead.
Exh: Gallery One, 1961 (10, repr.).
Repr: Edwin Mullins, F.N. Souza, 1962, p. 98, fig. 60.

The artist wrote (22 May 1965): ‘Two Saints in a Landscape was painted in the summer of 1961 in Valdemosa, Majorca… where I stayed in a house I shared with Martin Bradley who, incidentally, introduced me to P.V.A. [polyvinyl acetate]; and a number of pictures were painted in Valdemosa in this medium including Two Saints in a Landscape.’ In the following year Souza began using a projector to transfer drawings made on glass slides to his canvases. He finds ‘a number of defects in this painting which could have been eliminated by the projector, defects in drawing and proportion’.

Souza made a drawing closely related to No. T00725 for the invitation card of his exhibition of 40 Drawings at Partridge Designer Printers, London, August–October 1963.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.


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