Namboothiri (artist)

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Artist Namboothiri
Nampoothiri DSC 0318.jpg
Artist Namboothiri in 2011
Born (1925-09-10) September 10, 1925 (age 91)
Karuvattu Mana, Ponnani
Kerala, India
Known for Painter, Sculptor

K. M. Vasudevan Namboothiri, better known as Artist Namboodiri (born 1925) is a well-known Indian painter and sculptor.[1] He is the winner of the Raja Ravi Varma Award for the year 2003. He is famous for his own style of line sketches (rekhachithrangal in Malayalam).

Early life[edit]

Artist Namboodiri was born at Karuvattu Mana of Ponnani, Kerala. During his childhood, he was influenced by the sculptures at the Shukapuram temple near his house. “I had this urge to draw and mould sculptures after seeing these,” says Namboodiri.[2] Later, he was a disciple of renowned artist K. C. S. Paniker. He also drew inspiration from renowned painters like Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury and S. Dhanapal. He studied painting in the Madras School of Fine Arts.

Art career[edit]

Artist Namboodiri has illustrated many popular characters for literary publications in Kerala. His cartoon series "Naniyammayum Lokavum" in Mathrubhumi was extremely popular. He has worked for Mathrubhumi, a leading Malayalam publication. He has also done illustrations for several leading authors in Malayalam like Thakazhy Shivasankara Pillai, Kesavadev, M. T. Vasudevan Nair (for whom he illustrated the novel, Randamoozham), Uroob, S. K. Pottekkatt, Edasseri Govindan Nair, and V.K.N.. He is also a proponent of "finger painting", and does copper sheet relief work, having mounted an exhibition of metal reliefs on copper plates depicting the Ramayana and the Independence struggle.

He has been the chairman of the Kerala Lalitakala Academy for more than one term. During one such tenure, he took upon himself the task of setting up an own building for the centre in Thrissur, which till then was working from rented space. He was also the key figure behind the conversion of the Durbar Hall in Kochi into an art gallery.

A documentary has been made on the life and work of Namboodiiri. Titled Namboodiri: Varayude Kulapathy, it is directed by Binuraj Kalapeedhom, under the banner of Ask Movies.[2]


  • Randamoozham by M.T. Vasudevan Nair, illustrated by Namboothiri (Current Books)


  • Raja Ravi Varma award in 2003
  • State Award for the Best Art Direction for the Malayalam film Uttarayanam, directed by G. Aravindan in 1974
  • Kerala State Institute of Children's Literature Bala Sahitya Award for best illustration for his work in Kuttikalude Ramayanam (Ramayana for children) in 2004[3]


  1. ^ "Ode to a genius". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Manmadhan, Prema (Dec 15, 2011). "The life and times of Artist Namboodiri". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]