Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922)
- Syed Haider Raza
- Signed and dated 'RAZA '58' lower right
- Oil on canvas
- 18 1/4 by 15 1/8 in. (46.5 by 38.5 cm.)
Syed Haider Raza, Akbar Padamsee and F. N. Souza were close associates during the 1950s and the landscape remains a unifying theme to their works of this period. The ancient cathedrals of London, Paris and Rome and the rustic simplicity of medieval hilltop villages provide inspiration to all of their works. Compositionally a spire of a church or tower became the focal point for each work and deep backgrounds in blues, brown or burgundy unify their works. Whilst Raza experiments with his medium, he appears to draw some of his bold use of color from Souza's works of this period but his tight compositions in small formats are clearly of his own invention.
'The gouache technique in tempera was to give way to impasto in oils. The change of medium and manner (during 1953) were not merely technical but signified a fundamental change of attitude. The scholar, who had measured and calculated, burst through the confines of a limited understanding of color into a sphere of full realisation. The transformation created such passion that one could best describe this age of Raza as the age of the Lover. This triumphant handling of paint, this living in paint can only be understood as an act of love. His colors take on an entirely new complexion. Brilliant reds and yellows stand out against large looming forces of black and deep Prussian blue. Shapes dissolve in seas of colors which are by no means unorganised and fluid but seems to move and evolve within the space of the painting.' (Rudi von Leyden, rpt. in Raza, Bombay, Sadanga Series, 1959, p. 19).