F.N. Souza’s painting fetches $380,000 in Dubai sale

By Uma Nair, IANS

Dubai : New York-based F.N. Souza’s 1955 work “The Elder” sold at an estimated value of $240,000-300,000, one of the highlights of the Bonham’s Dubai auction, at the Royal Mirage Hotel, sold for $380,000, excluding buyer’s premium and tax.

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Founder of India’s Progressive Artists’ movement in 1947, Souza is renowned worldwide as an articulate genius, augmenting his disturbing and powerful canvases with his sharp, stylish and provocative prose.

Souza’s “Houses on Hampstead”, a brilliantly evocative landscape, estimated at $120,000-180,000 sold for $190,000.

Two important works by J. Swaminathan in the sale held their own within presale estimates. The first work “Untitled (Bird and Mountain)” estimated at $250,000-350,000 sold for $220,000.

Swaminathan’s second work from the same series estimated at $100,000-$150,000 sold for $140,000 plus premium and tax.

The two Ram Kumars did appreciably well. One, a snapshot of early Varanasi (1961), estimated at $100,000-120,000 went for $200,000. If the first work captured the ghostly flavour of an uninhabited landscape, the second work executed 1991 sold for $ 120,000.

Paritosh Sen’s “Two boy Musicians” estimated at a mere $8,000-12,000 went for $65,000.

B.Prabha’s “Rajasthani Girls” estimated at $30,000-40,000 sold at $65,000. Husain’s much touted “War and Peace” estimated at $225,000-275,000 sold for $210,000. Chugtai’s “Maiden” contemplating moths at a flame sold for $220,000.

Bonhams Dubai is a joint venture with the local Al Tajir family, which is renowned as fine art and collectibles connoisseurs. The partnership represents a historical joining of forces between two of the most prominent names on the global art stage.

The recent opening of Bonhams Dubai is a significant step in the company’s rapid global expansion as Bonhams is today one of the world’s largest and fastest growing auction houses.

With 2006 worldwide gross sales of nearly $500 million, Bonhams is a clear number three in the global market.