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Illustrations in Tamil publications

About the artists 


Sri Gopulu was born at Tanjore in the year 1924. Upto his 10th year Gopulu's life was spent under the shadow of Tanjore ‘Big Temple', playing, learning and breathing Tanjore culture. He came under the influence of a great genius, Late. Sri. Mali of Ananda Vikatan, the famous cartoonists of the 1930s and 1940s in Tamil Nadu. Sri Gopulu joined Ananda Vikatan in 1945 under the leadership and inspiration of the great master Sri. Mali. Gopulu started to draw journalists illustrations, cartoons, caricatures, jokes etc. which are part and parcel of Tamil Journalism. This continued for decades in Ananda Vikatan as well as in other journals.
He was a student of the Kumbakonam School of Arts. Gopulu entered Vikatan, and for the next 20 years designed covers, did political cartoons, and illustrated several popular columns. He served under two editors - Devan and later Kothamangalam Subbu. 
When asked, "What did you most enjoy doing - cartoons, or oil paintings or line drawings?" he conters "Can a parent choose between his children?" Touché.
Gopulu illustrated the episodes from Devan's Thuppariyum Sambu when it was presented in comics form in Ananda vikatan. 
His illustrations for Devan's stories and Thillanana Mohanambal and his mythological tales bring the characters alive. 
Union Publishing House deserves to be commended for having published "Lakshmi Kataksham" with Gopulu's illustrations.


S.Rajam studied in the Government School of Arts in Madras in 1935, when the famous Roy Chowdhury was the Principal.  KCS Panicker, Dhanapal and Kodur Ramamurthy were Rajam's school mates.  
Rakam's series of paintings  
- Origin & Classification of Swaras 
- Twelve paintings illustrating Venkatamakhi’s melakartha scheme by classifying the 72 mela ragas into 12 chakras 
- paintings illustrating the kritis, prarticularly the Navagraha kritis of Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar 
- His portraitures of the composers in the classical traditions of Indian music
- Shri Rajam while talking about his technique of water-wash said, "I learnt it all from my teacher Shri V.Doraisamy Achari". 

- His portrait of the trinity of Carnatic music (Saint Thyagaraja, Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Shyama Shastri) which he painted when he was barely twenty years of age is a true classic; it is a universally acclaimed archetype and one that is even worshipped. 

- Hallmarks of his portraits are their authenticity. He studied and researched into his subjects thoroughly, grasped the essence of their character and achievements. His portraits therefore bring out not mere the physical resemblance of the subjects but more importantly the essence of their very inner being. Thus, imagination, observation and the expressive force of rhythm became the essential features of his paintings. Through sustained practice, he learnt to make his pictures come alive with rhythm and expression. 
Visit Legacy of Chitrasutra - Shri S Rajam by Sreenivasarao for the complete article and images.

S.Rajam has illustrated the book Dancing with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Kauai's Hindu Monastery), published by Himalayan Academy, USA, India. 
The book is available online at along with the illustrations.
He was trained in music as well.  In fact some of the greats in the field of Carnatic music used to visit his home and have personally taught him.  He was the first disciple of Papanasam Sivan.  He has also acted in 3 films - Seetha-kalyanam, Radha-kalyanam and Rukmini-kalyanam.


Narayana, famous by his pen name Bapu contributed story illustration, magazine covers, cartoons, comic strips to English, Telugu, Tamil periodicals from 1945.
Bapu has also introduced a new cursive writing in Telugu. This font is his own handwriting and reflects the same simplicity he exhibits in his art. His main achievements are the production of an illustrated book of Ramayana for children, over a hundred exhibitions and ‘one-man shows' of his art work were held all over Andhra Pradesh and also at the National Film Theatre, London in 1978 and at the Telugu Conferences held in the U.S.A. in 1978, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1995 and 1996. Many exhibitions and seminars held on his paintings till now have all registered an unforgettable memory to the visitors & viewers.
Just a mention of the name Bapu brings smiles on the faces of Telugu people. Such is the spell the artiste has cast on the masses across Andhra Pradesh over the years. Whether it is the little Budugu with his trademark mischievous smile or the traditional Telugu girl with a beautiful jada (plait) looking back over her shoulders, Bapu's line art has earned him a large fan following in the Telugu Diaspora during the last 60 years.
Bapu is one of the very few truly original filmmakers in the Telugu film industry and is the popular half of the Bapu-Ramana (Mullapudi Venkata Ramana) pair that made movies that went on to define subtlety in telugu cinema.  
- bapuramaneyam.
Excerpts from article 
Bapu geesina bomma
The Hindu, Jun 21, 2004
Be it the revered Lord Sri Rama or the naughty Budugu, it's the legendary Bapu all the way, says G.V.Ramana Rao.

Chithiramum vichitramum 
Snippets from an article by Kalaimaamani Vikraman on Kalki's Sivagaamiyin Sabadham in Gopura Dharisanam Deepavali Malar 2006 
Kalki wrote two articles in Kalki under the title "Soppana Logam" (dream world) after a two day visit to study the sculptural wonders of Mahabalipuram along with T.K.C.  
Kalki wrote his first historical novel Paarthiban Kanavu in the issue - 16 October 1941. 
Artist Varma added glory to the novel with his illustrations.  
Varma also illustrated the great classic Sivagaamiyin Sabadham, which appeared in Kalki from January 1, 1944. 
When Sivagaamiyin Sabadham was released as a novel, artist Chandra had done the illustration. 
Other artists who have also illustrated this great novel - Maniam, Maaruti, Maniam Selvan, G.K.Murthy.