Len van Geyzel was a renowned art critic who wrote extensively on the '43 Group of artists in Sri Lanka in Marg and other publications. Harry Pieris who acquired the work from Geyzel was a Sri Lankan painter and founder of the Sapumal Foundation. Pieris along with Lionel Wendt, George Keyt, Ivan Peries and George Claessen were original members of the Colombo '43 Group that laid the foundation of modern art in Sri Lanka.
Mulk Raj Anand has written about his encounter with Keyt and this particular painting, 'I insinuated my way into the godown, stopping to upturn one painting here, another there, until, by chance, I came across a small vertical rectangular frame within which was enshrined the golden brown-yellow figure of a slim-waisted, bewitching girl. 'Prema' the painter said.'That is Martin Russell's favourite picture. And he doesn't want anyone else to see it.' 'That is strange' I said. 'Does it make him feel guilty because it is a nude?' I could feel the sensous warmth of the young female, her every curve demanding to be caressed. The painter did not answer.' (M. R. Anand , 'Conversations,' George Keyt, The George Keyt Felicitation Committee, Colombo, 1977, p. 10)
Painted in 1931, this work also shows the influence of artists such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, who combined sharp lines with volume and curves. While the identity of A.M. might forever remain a secret, the painting is a testament to Keyt's talent. 'George Keyt could combine all the atomic flashes into features charged with the high temperature of his own passionate vision.' (ibid., p. 12)
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