Two original letters by F N Souza addressed to collector Jeremy Hyman
a) An aerogramme dated 28 July 1983. Written on one side only. The reverse of the aerogramme has Hyman's address in England and Souza's own address in New York in Souza's hand. The letter reads:
Dear Mr Hyman
Thanks for the polaroid.
Yes, your painting is certainly vintage Souza British Period.
I was born in Goa, you may know, a former Portuguese colony which was surrounded by British India, where a macabre medieval Christianity was practiced [sic] and still persists.
I would have called the painting, "Head of Christ", 1957.
I still paint and draw crucifixions simply because of their horrific symbolism of man's inhumanity to man.
I'll be 60 next year. I have a feeling that I will produce another "British period" to round off my work. During those years when I painted a lot in London, I also went a lot over to Paris, where I had a studio. The painting you have was done in my studio in Belsize Park, London N. W. 3. I used to drink a lot then. I am a teetotaler [sic] now.
Looking forward to seeing you.
b) A letter written on one side of a single sheet, dated 1 August 1997, with Souza's New York address written in his hand on top. It reads:
Hi Jeremy, long time no word! Hope all's hunky dory with you. I've been travelling most of the time since we last corresponded - India - Pakistan - Europe ---I was in London for an exhibition of my work at Hartnoll's Gallery (perhaps you could ask Julian Hartnoll for the catalog*. Phone: 0171 839 3842.) I [was] in London when the Sotheby's auction took place & your painting, Beauty-Beast, bid well. (You had sent me a polaroid of it, remember?)
Let me know if you're at the same address.
*All the paintings were from Hartnoll's collection
Together with a copy of the catalogue mentioned in the second letter titled:-
Francis Newton Souza, London: Julian Hartnoll Gallery, 6-24 May 1997, large triple-turned folder, its six sides carrying 18 paintings by Souza [2 full-page] and 3 photographs of Souza, including one with Queen Elizabeth II. With an essay by Julian Hartnoll and a biographical chronology
9.6 x 6.6 in (24.5 x 17 cm)