Kottakkal: KM Vasudevan Namboothiri, also affectionately called as Artist Namboothiri, the master of line sketches who created legends through lines has passed away. He was 97 years old and passed away while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kottakkal. He was admitted to the hospital on the 1st of July due to a lung infection. He is survived by his wife Mrinalini and sons Parameswaran and Vasudevan.
Namboothiri’s death marks the end of the golden chapter of Kerala’s painting and sculpture heritage. Many brilliant characters in Malayalam literature came came to life through Namboothiri’s drawings.
He was born in 1925 to Parameswaran Namboothiri and Sridevi Antharjanam of Karuvattu Illam Ponnani. He studied Sanskrit and traditional medicine when he was young. He began drawing line sketches using charcoal on the walls of his house and on the sand in the temple courtyard. Seeing his interest in drawing, famous sculptor and painter Varikkasseri Krishnan Namboothiri took him to the Madras College of Fine Arts. He worked with Panicker when the latter established Kalagram in Cholamandalam.
He joined Mathrubhumi in 1960. He illustrated novels and short stories of legendary writers including MT, VKN Basheer and Takazi. He also worked in Kalakaumudi and Samakalika Malayalam. His illustrations for MT’s ‘Randamoozham’ and VKN’s ‘Pithamahan’ and ‘Payyan Kathakal’ are very popular. He also worked as art director for Aravindan’s films Uttarayanam and Kanchanaseeta. He had won the State Film Award for the art direction of Aravindan’s Uttarayanam.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many eminent personalities and others expressed condolences on the demise of renowned artist Karuvattu Mana Vasudevan Namboothiri. 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.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, expressed his condolence over the demise of Artist Namboothiri. “Deeply saddened by the demise of Shri K M Vasudevan Namboothiri Ji. His paintings and sculptures breathed life into our history and revived our connection with it. My condolences to his bereaved family and followers. Om Shanti,” Shah tweeted.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says, Artist Namboothiri is a talented artist with a unique style in the field of narrative painting. He said that his writing technique was such that the characters of various literary works were imprinted in the minds of the readers of all time. We understand and remember many characters in Malayalam literature through the portraits given by artist Namboothiri. He was also a multi-talented artist, a draftsman, a painter, a sculptor and an art director. In his condolence message, the Chief Minister stated that the demise of Artist Namboothiri is an irreplaceable loss in the field of Art.
While expressing his sorrow over the passing of Artist Namboothiri, Union Minister V. Muralidharan remarked that Namboothiri was a special artist who added a new perspective to Kerala painting. The outstanding artist who excelled in all of his professions, including painting, portraiture, sculpture, and art direction, has no death in the minds of Malayalis, V. Muraleedharan said in his Facebook post. The minister acknowledged the family’s sorrow as well.
Actor Mohanlal condoled the death of Artist Namboothiri. He said that today was a day full of pain and the legendary painter who can be described as the gift of drawing has passed away. Mohanlal expressed his condolences through a Facebook post.
“It’s a very painful day. Artist Namboothiri Sir, the legendary painter who can be described as the gift of drawing, has passed away. I had a close relationship with that brother-like artist for many years. I treasure the many paintings that the great artist with the touch of God’s fingers gifted me, especially the wonderful painting called Soundaryalahari, which he took five years to paint. Like a brother, my dear Namboothiri Sir with his gentle manners and loving words was always by my side. His death is a great loss to Kerala art itself”, Mohanlal noted.