10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza

One of the most iconic artists, we delve into the fascinating work of SH Raza, who created a unique meld of paint and poeticism.

"He was trying a different kind of modernism."

On February 22, 1922, SH Raza was born as Sayed Haider Raza in British India.

During his illustrious art career, he lived and worked in France for the majority of his life.

Raza came to be known as one of the most remarkable painters of his time as he forged new ways to express his feelings through art.

His first solo show occurred when he was aged 24 in 1946. He was subsequently awarded the Silver Medal of the society.

When he arrived in France, Raza experimented with Western Modernism, soaking his brushes in both expressionism and gradually greater abstraction.

By the 1970s, feelings of creative abandonment led Raza to find new directions for his paintings.

This change in direction kept Raza relevant, leading to him becoming an inspiration for several generations.

Expressing the importance of freedom regarding artwork, Raza says:

“Everyone sees for himself, the artist also sees for himself.

“Others see where ideas coincide, or whether they agree or disagree.

“There is no binding, no forcing of things. It has to be a free association of ideas.”

Paying tribute to the SH Raza, DESIblitz proudly presents 10 of his most stunning paintings.


10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - CarcassoneCarcassone is a masterpiece by SH Raza, which came into prominence shortly after he moved to France.

The artist experimented with orchestration, using houses and churches as the main elements of the painting.

Unique in its design and execution, Carcassone aptly conveys the simmering thoughts and expression that Raza was capable of having.

Inspired by the French countryside, the painting is free of materialism, time, and place.

It shows the originality of Raza which continues to take the Indian art world by storm.

Rajasthan II

10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - Rajasthan IIThis stunning depiction of art is a thrilling showcase of vibrant colour and confident execution.

In his career, Raza primarily used oil and acrylics for his paintings, which came to life in Rajasthan II.

Whereas Raza’s previous Rajasthan follows circular patterns, this art glimmers with squares and rectangles.

With a blend of bright and dark colours including dusky green, bright orange, and black, it is perfect for art connoisseurs to admire and behold.


10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - BinduBindu stands tall as one of the most iconic paintings of SH Raza.

In the 1970s, when Raza was frequenting between India and France, he visited the Ajanta-Ellora caves in Banaras.

Bindu was born out of his desire to make a difference to the world.

Raza perceived the artwork to be the centre of existence.

The black circle underlines the ‘seed’ of creation, while the faint lines of the inverted triangles are a sign of female fertility.

Delving into the painting, Raza says: “Bindu is a source of energy, a source of life. Life begins here, attains infinity here.”


10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - SaurashtraReleased in 1983, Saurashtra is a seminal piece of artwork that boasts of super abstraction.

The painting is adorned with bright colours including crimson red, saffron, and ochre yellow.

Darker colours such as burnt sienna and shades of green underscore the idea of dusty and vegetative India.

A variety of brushstrokes were used within the painting to describe the evolving landscape of India.

Saurashtra therefore makes for a thought-provoking theme as well as a visual beauty.

Clocher du Village

10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - Clocher du VillageA display of rural France, SH Raza combines ambition and scale in Clocher du Village.

One of Raza’s finest offerings from the 1950s, the artist captivates the attention of viewers.

The painting captures the architecture of France and the format suggests the country’s rolling terrain.

With the bold use of colour, Raza created something quite monumental.

Jacques Lassaigne opines: “Discernible in Raza’s recent pictures are the forms of houses, trees and mountains.

“But to conclude on the strength of this that they are a literal description of nature would be to misjudge them entirely.”

With Clocher du Village, Raza once again proves his versatility and uniqueness.


10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - AnkuranMeaning ‘germination’, Ankuran gives the aforementioned Bindu some resonance.

The black circle seen in Bindu is a key aspect of Ankuran.

Symbolising creation, black suggests the birth of all other colours.

Ankuran is almost a collage of Raza’s thoughts about origin and germination.

Black appears throughout the painting, underlining the fundamental seed of life.

By creating a geometric configuration, Raza shows he is a master of world-building with this artwork.

Saison I

10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - Saison ISaison I is an amalgamation of brightness and simplicity.

The painting may look simplistic from the outset, but the colours and the strokes are undeniably complex.

The orange in Saison I looks exquisite as Raza blends the colour with combinations of yellow and green.

Saison I marks Raza’s experimentation with less pictorial space and more dabbling in the representation of nature and light using colour.

This abstract painting is one of the finest works of SH Raza, and the result of it is there for all to see.

Ciel Rouge Sur Le Lac

10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - Ciel Rouge Sur Le LacA somewhat darker painting, this piece uses navy, red, and black as its primary colours.

Ciel Rouge Sur Le Lac translates to ‘Red Sky Over Lake’, which is what the painting conveys.

A combination of thoughts and colour, Ciel Rouge Sur Le Lac is the quintessential SH Raza.

It leaves consumers awestruck by Raza’s subliminal messaging.


10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - UniverseSimilar to Ankuran, this painting is a picturesque collage of shapes and colours.

With reiterations of Bindu adorning Universe, the collage is bordered by smaller shapes.

As we go further into the painting, we can see bigger brushstrokes and bolder colours.

The poet Ashok Vajpeyi opens up on what made Raza stand out from typical modernists:

“I think Raza had a celebrative instinct, unlike the usual modernists, where there is disruption, dislocation, tension.

“He was trying a different kind of modernism, which undid the dichotomy between the sensuous and the spiritual.”

That is evident in Universe.

Surya and Naga

10 Most Stunning Paintings by SH Raza - Surya and NagaSurya and Naga encapsulates the ideas and themes of Bindu in vivid detail.

The circle is shaped in the form of a snake with the Sun being another ‘bindu’.

On Medium, Indian art curator Sandhya Bordewekar details Surya and Naga:

“In Surya and Naga, Raza takes the symbolism of the Bindu further, coiling it in the form of a black-blue Naga — the serpent, another metaphor for fertility and sexuality.

“The Sun here is a bright, blazing yellow Bindu, contrasted with the cooling fluid blue of the water, symbolic of the feminine element.

“But both are life-nurturing, speaking of rejuvenation, re-birth and the continual cycle of life.”

Surya and Naga is undoubtedly a masterpiece that represents again Raza’s deep thoughts.

The stunning paintings of SH Raza are thought-provoking, unique, and beautifully crafted.

Sonia Patwardhan explains:

“The works of Indian Modernist artist SH Raza have been widely appreciated for their bold colours and profound symbolism that is deeply rooted in Indian culture.”

SH Raza is one of the most influential figures who has left an indelible mark in the realm of arts and culture.

His outstanding paintings and dedication to art will be celebrated for generations to come.

Manav is our content editor and writer who has a special focus on entertainment and arts. His passion is helping others, with interests in driving, cooking, and the gym. His motto is: “Never hang on to your sorrows. Always be positive."

Images courtesy of Google Arts & Culture, Artisera, Christie's, MutualArt, Artsy and Scroll.in.

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