On February 10, 2024, the art world lost one of its most distinctive voices Ramachandran Died in Delhi at the age of 88.
Early influences and visit to Santiniketan
Born in Attingal, Kerala, A. This took him on scholarship to Santiniketan, where he became immersed in the teachings of luminaries such as Benod Bihari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij. Here, Ramachandran was introduced not only to the philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, but also to a form of artistic expression that valued freedom and creativity above all else.
Artistic evolution: from pain to celebration
Ramachandran’s early works show a distinct awareness of the socio-political turmoil of his times, reflecting the pain and sorrow he witnessed upon his arrival in Kolkata after Partition. His pieces from this period, such as Kali Puja and The End of the Yadavas, depict a dark world full of violence and despair. However, the turbulent events of the 1980s in Delhi, especially the communal riots, led him to a decisive change. Deeply influenced by the lush landscapes and temple art of Kerala and the humanist ideals of Santiniketan, Ramachandran began to abandon cataclysmic images in favor of those that celebrated life and nature.
A teacher and painter: shaping minds and attitudes
After coming to Delhi in the 60s, Ramachandran joined Jamia Millia Islamia and was instrumental in setting up the Faculty of Fine Arts along with artist Paramjit Singh. His commitment to education was paralleled by his passion for children’s literature, which he discovered with his wife Jasmine. Together, they created books that not only entertained but also educated, drawing on traditional art forms and their rich cultural experiences. While Ramachandran believed in the power of storytelling and nature to shape young minds, he lamented the disconnection of modern children from these seminal experiences.
A Ramachandran’s Legacy: A Celebration of Indian Heritage
Ramachandran’s artistic works are a testament to his belief in the intrinsic value of Indian art traditions and its rich tapestry of cultural narratives. His work stands as a bridge between the past and present, blending traditional aesthetics with contemporary sensibilities. Through his paintings, murals and illustrations, Ramachandran offered a glimpse of a world where myth and reality were intertwined, where nature and humanity co-existed in harmony.