Anjolie Ela Menon

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Anjolie Ela Menon
Anjolie Ela Menon (cropped).jpg
Born 1940
West Bengal, India
Occupation painter and muralist

Anjolie Ela Menon (born 1940) is one of India's leading contemporary artists. Her paintings are in several major collections. In 2006 her work "Yatra" was acquired by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California. Her preferred medium is oil on masonite, though she has also worked in other media, including glass and water colour. She is a well known muralist. She was awarded the Padma Shree in 2000.[1] She lives and works in New Delhi.

Early life[edit]

Anjolie Ela Menon was born on 17 July 1940, in Burnpur, Bengal [now in West Bengal] India of mixed Bengali and American parentage.[2] She went to Lawrence School, Lovedale in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu. By the age of 15, when she left school, she had already sold a few paintings. Thereafter, she briefly studied at the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai and later earned a degree in English Literature from Delhi University, where she studied at the famous women's college, Miranda House. During this time, she was drawn to the works of Modigliani, and Indian painters, M F Husain and Amrita Shergil. At 18, she held a solo exhibition with fifty-three paintings of a variety of styles. Her creative brilliance got her a French Government scholarship to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1959 to 1961. Before returning home, she travelled extensively in Europe and West Asia studying Romanesque and Byzantine art.


Anjolie Ela Menon's preferred medium was oil on masonite, which she applied by using a series of translucent colours and thin washes. In addition to oil paintings and murals, she worked in several other mediums, including computer graphics and Murano glass. She is best known for her religious-themed works, portraits, and nudes that incorporated a vibrant colour palette and were rendered in a variety of styles ranging from cubism to techniques that recalled the artists of the European Renaissance. In 1997 she, for the first time displayed non-figurative work, including Buddhist abstracts. She represented India at the Paris, Algiers, and São Paulo Biennales and at three Triennales in New Delhi.[3]

Later life[edit]

Anjolie married her childhood love, Raja Menon, an Indian Navy officer, who later retired as an Admiral. Since their marriage she has lived and worked in India, the US, Europe, Japan and the erstwhile USSR, and had over thirty five solo shows in these countries. She is a well known muralist and has represented India at several shows.


  • The Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India in 2000.
  • The Limca book of Records.
  • Lifetime achievement award 2013 by government of NCT of Delhi


Anjolie Ela Menon has had over thirty solo shows including at Black heath Gallery-London, Gallery Radicke-Bonn, Winston Gallery-Washington, Doma Khudozhinkov-USSR, Rabindra Bhavanand Shridharani Gallery-New Delhi, Academy of Fine Arts-Calcutta, the Gallery-Madras, Jehangir Gallery, Chemould Gallery, Taj Gallery, Bombay and Maya Gallery at the Museum Annexe, Hong Kong. A retrospective exhibition was held in 1988 in Bombay and she has participated in several international shows in France, Japan, Russia and USA[2] In addition to paintings in private and corporate collections, her works have been acquired by museums in India and abroad.


  • Anjolie Ela Menon: Paintings in Private Collections Hardcover – 15 November 1995 by Isana Murti (Author), Indira Dayal (Compiler), Anjolie Ela Menon (Illustrator)
  • Anjolie Ela Menon: Through the Patina,” by Isana Murty, published by Vadhera Art Gallery

Further reading[edit]

  • India’s 50 Most Illustrious Women (ISBN 81-88086-19-3) by Indra Gupta.
  • Anjolie Ela Menon: Images and Techniques. 1996 Marg Publications edited by Gayatri Sinha: (Chapter in) Expressions and Evocations:Contemporary Women Artists of India.


  1. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Anjolie Ela Menon". Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  3. ^ "Anjolie Ela Menon | Indian painter". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 

External links[edit]