When we moved to our own house, I dreamt of hanging an original Mysore painting in the lobby. Thus started my quest to find either the right painting or a painter. Fortunately, I came across a website describing Mysore paintings and introduced me to the Mysore palace artist Sri M.Ramanarasaiah. I tracked his house in Mysore with the help of my aunt who happened to study in the same school as that of Sri Ramanarasaiah’s children.
It was a delight and my luck to meet a person who has contributed so much to the culture of Mysore. Sri M.Ramanarasaiah aged 95 is one of the few continuing to paint in Mysore style.
He has studied and researched a great deal on how to paint gods and goddesses. The characters, jewelry, decor, expression, hair styles, weapons, and so on of the various gods and goddesses has been researched by him over the years. This reflects greatly in his work.
Sri M.Ramanarasaiah patiently heard my desire to get a painting painted by him and after asking questions about where I intended to place the painting, he explained the image that would be most appropriate. I was only too happy to place the order and he painted goddess Lakshmi’s picture to perfection in a month using gold flakes and paints. It is only after the painting entered our house, did I feel a sense of completeness.
Sri M. Ramanarasaiah is also an expert in traditional oil paintings. The largest painting of Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar`s durbar placed at Jaganmohan Palace has been painted by him. According to him, painting this was a big challenge and took him 5 years to complete the painting. Sri M.Ramanarasaiah was also the curator of Jagan Mohan Palace art museum from 1950 to 1974.
Other paintings of his comprises of portraits of the royal family and musicians. 28 of his paintings are displayed in Jaganmohan Palace.
He has recently been awarded the M.T.V. Acharya award, instituted by Acharya Chitrakala Bhavan. He has also been honored with Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy award.
I hope his brush strokes continue forever bringing delight to one and all.
Updated on 2nd May: Sri Ramanarasaiah passed away to paint the other world in December 2012