Lot 19
  • 19

Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922)

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Syed Haider Raza
  • Untitled
  • Signed and dated 'Raza 58' upper right
  • Oil on canvas
  • 32 by 39 1/2 in. (81.3 by 100.3 cm.)

Catalogue Note

Upon his arrival in France in 1950, Raza was deeply influenced by the works of Modernist masters, especially Cézanne and Van Gogh and his paintings over the next decade echo the structure and formalism of both these artists. Raza combined these impulses to forge a unique idiom where space and color seem to move and feed into each other. He turned for inspiration to the French countryside  to Provence and the Maritime Alps where '...the landscape with its trees, mountains, villages and churches became his staple diet.' (Yashodhara Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, New Delhi, 2001, p. 152).

This painting is typical of Raza's works from the mid to the late 1950s where he painted the French countryside in riotous hues, in a style which fused the Modernist metaphor with his frenetic exploration of color and his musings on abstraction.  'In works like Church (1957), the black steeple and charred roofs burn in their intensity against a smoldering orange sky.' (Yashodhara Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, 2001, p. 152). 'Be it village, town or church, the world according to Raza was aflame. It was being forged anew through the crucible of recollection - baptized through fire.' (Geeti Sen, Bindu, Space and Time in Raza's Vision, New Delhi, 1997, p. 66).