M.F. Pithawalla

M.  F.  Pithawalla  was  born  in  Surat’s Pitha  village  (hence  the  name)  from where  he moved  to Bombay  following his  father’s demise  in 1888,  to make  a living writing letters  professionally. He was discovered and trained in art by John Griffiths, the principal of Sir J. J. School of Art. Following the success of his  first showing  at  the  Bombay  Fine Arts  exhibition where he was awarded a  silver  medal  and  a  cash  prize  by the  Bombay  Art  Society,  he  began exhibiting  widely at shows in Simla, Bombay, Darjeeling, Madras and Pune, at which he won several awards.

Pithawalla left for Europe in 1911and while there, he was able to impress with his talent in portraiture, so much so that he was soon considered equal to some of the leading portrait artists of the time in Britain. His style is also remembered by the album he was commissioned to make for Queen Mary on her Indian visit, containing water colour impressions of women from different Indian communities, indicating their characteristic mannerisms and dressing styles.     

Showing his paintings at the annual exhibitions of art societies, Pithawalla,  along  with  Raja Ravi Varma and J. P. Gangooly, became regular prize winners at a time when few Indians exhibited outside of  their  home  towns.  An early buyer of his work was the Government Museum of Madras. The only artist to win three successive  prizes  at  the  Bombay  Art Society, Pithawala gave back  to  the art community during his 30-year term as a committee member of  the Bombay Art Society and as vice-president of  the Art Society of  India.

Artwork for Sale

Parsi Lady
by M.F. Pithawalla

Size:

24 X 18 inches