The Sultan of the Classical style of painting Artist VS Valiathan (87) died yesterday at his home at Pandalam. The man whose life was totally dedicated to the Ravi Varma genre of painting was well appreciated by art lovers everywhere. He observed that those who go after Modern Painting, actually do not bother to dedicate their time and effort to painting. According to him, Painting meant Classical Painting. The man used to pour his knowledge of the art of painting to his students at his art gallery Chithrasala even when he was physically weak. He was selected for Kerala’s highest honour for excellence in painting ‘The Raja Ravi Varma Award” last month. But unfortunately, he went without receiving the award. He was also the first ever recipient of the Lalitha Kala Puraskaram.
His paintings can be seen in Chithrasala, Sree Chithra Art Gallery Thiruvananthapuram, and in many art galleries in European countries. Some of his famous paintings are “Venalkkaalam” (The Summer Season), ‘Urangunna Sundari” (The Sleeping Beauty), “MacBeth”, “Themmadikkaattu” (The Naughty Wind), “Urvasy”, “Kulikadavu” (The Bathing Ghat), “The Battle of Kurukshethra” and “Viswamithran and Menaka”. His own rendition of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper is arguably the best example for the use of light sources and their fading effect by any Classical painter. Adding to his finesse is the fact that he seldom used a model for his paintings. A vividly talented man; Valiathan also has an Aattakkatha (Kathakali theme) and a documentary on Swathi Thirunal to his credit.