Artist who enriched Mysore style no more

Ramanarasaiah passes away at a private hospital in city

Palace artist Ramanarasaiah, known for his realistic paintings and Mysore traditional style of painting, passed away in the city on Sunday. He was 90.

Following a fall, he had suffered fracture in his leg and had been to his daughter’s place in Coimbatore for treatment. He had returned to the city recently and had been to a hospital in the city after the pain recurred. However, the end came on Sunday around 1 am.

The mortal remains were kept at his house in Vijayanagar for sometime, before performing the last rites at the burial ground near the foot of Chamundi Hill.

He leaves behind wife Jayalakshmi, six daughters and two sons and disciples. Among them Sudha and Chandrika are known for carrying forward the legacy of their father.

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A native of Mysore, Ramanarasiah was drawn towards the field of art at an early age. An alumni of CAVA, he was one among 10 to 15 artists of the Palace between 1947 and 1960. Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was the ruler. Whenever foreign dignitaries visited, the maharaja was gifting them his portrait. Ramanarasaiah, a deft painter, was adept at portrait paintings called as ‘realistic’ and Mysore traditional style of art.

A portrait of the maharaja in sartorial elegance and another astride horse still adorns the walls of Jagan Mohan Palace museum. Another of the last durbar of the maharaja (size 7x12) recreated by Ramanarasaiah holds mirror to his ability. The said painting too is among the exhibits in the above mentioned museum.

Another noted artist L Shivalingappa told Deccan Herald: “Ramanarasaiah took six years to complete the durbar painting with the help of a black and white photograph”. When the princely rule was abolished, Ramanarasaiah was made the curator of the museum at Jagan Mohan Palace and remained there till 1978.

During his tenure, work on resurrection of many paintings were successfully undertaken.

Ramanarasaiah, as a youth garnered the attention of the maharaja by painting his portrait. Thus began his job as an artist under royal patronage. Some of his paintings also adorn the main palace, private museum of the royal scion and Government Guest House.

He is a recipient of Lalithakala Academy award, M T V Acharya Award, Dasara Awards to name a few.

Asha Prasad, one of Ramanarasaiah’s students when a school was opened on the premises of Jagan Mohan Palace to revive Mysore traditional style of painting, went down memory lane to 1985-86.

“Sir was residing at Sunnadakeri then and was coming on bicycle to the class in the evening hours. He had also painted a portrait of another renowned artist Raja Ravi Verma, now seen in the gallery named after the latter in Jagan Mohan Palace”, recalled Asha Prasad.

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