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HomeArt and CultureKerala-based artist Namboothiri passes away

Kerala-based artist Namboothiri passes away

Admired for effortlessly wielding his pen on paper to bring numerous characters to life in his line drawings, artist Karuvattu Mana Vasudevan Namboothiri passed away in the wees hours of Friday. He was 97. The cremation will take place in the evening today in Naduvattom, Kerala.

An alumnus of the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, the artist who honed his skills under the tutelage of veterans such as Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury and KCS Paniker, is known for his depictions of life in Kerala, the local culture, and traditions. Trained in painting, he also experimented with copper relief sculptures. Former chairman of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, he illustrated novels and stories for numerous authors writing in Malayalam, including Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, P Kesavadev, MT Vasudevan Nair, and VKN.

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Born in September 1925 in Ponnani, Malappuram district of Kerala, the artist who sketched in the sand in his backyard as a child was inspired by the sculptures at the Sukapuram temple near his house.

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In his long artistic career, he contributed illustrations to numerous publications, including Mathrubhumi Weekly, Kalakaumudi, and Samakalika Malayalam, and also penned his autobiography, Rekhakal (Lines).

Bestowed the 2003 Raja Ravi Varma Award by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, his story has been documented in numerous books as well as in director Binuraj Kalapeedam’s documentary that chronicles the artist’s life.

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