Peerless line artist Namboodiri passes away at 98

Namboodiri played a starring role with his beautiful drawings, which were among the major attractions in publications, like Mathrubhumi, Kalakaumudi and Samakalika Malayalam

Updated - July 07, 2023 02:56 pm IST

Published - July 07, 2023 12:34 pm IST - KOZHIKODE

Illustration by Satheesh  Vellinezhi

Illustration by Satheesh Vellinezhi

Namboodiri, one of India’s most gifted and loved painters, died at a private hospital in Kottakkal late on the night of July 6. He was 98-years-old.

Though he was a versatile artist — he sculpted, and was a State Film Award winner for art direction, too — he was primarily known, especially in his native Kerala, for his line art, in which he had few peers.

Malayalam has a strong tradition in literature and literary magazines, and Namboodiri played a starring role with his beautiful drawings, which were among the major attractions in publications, like Mathrubhumi, Kalakaumudi and Samakalika Malayalam.

Also read: The life and times of Artist Namboodiri

He brought to life some of the best-known short stories and novels of Malayalam, such as Randamoozham (M.T. Vasudevan Nair), Enippadikal (Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai), Pithamahan (VKN) and Smarakasilakal (Punathil Kunhabdulla).

Writers wanted him to illustrate their stories , which the readers loved. It was a double delight.

Born at Ponnani, which was part of Madras Presidency in British India, he was encouraged to pursue his talent in drawing. He studied at the Govt. School of Fine Arts in Chennai.

He returned to Kerala and joined Mathrubhumi as a staff illustrator in 1960.

Namboodiri also worked as an art director for a few films, such as Uttarayanam, which marked the debut of G. Aravindan, one of Malayalam cinema’s finest filmmakers. The film won him the Kerala State Award for the best art director.

Namboodiri was also a chairman of the Kerala Lalithakalai Akademi.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on the demise of Namboodiri.

Taking to Twitter PM Modi wrote, “Sri KM Vasudevan Namboothiri Ji will be remembered for his iconic artwork. He is widely respected for his creativity and efforts to popularize aspects related to history and culture. Saddened by his loss. My thoughts are with his family at this time of grief. Om Shanti.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.