Remembering S M Pandit, the artist who painted legends

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March 25, On This Day

The creator of the life-size portrait of Swami Vivekananda at Kanyakumari, S. M. Pandit an Indian painter from Karnataka was born on March 25, 1916. He has also made paintings of various Indian leaders, these in include the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi now at New Council Hall, Mumbai and the portraits of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, which are on permanent display in the Indian High Commission and commonwealth institute in London.

Sambanand Monappa Pandit was a student of Shankar Rao Alandkar from Sir J.J. School of Arts and was highly influenced by Raja Ravi Varma’s naturalistic techniques to depict scenes from Indian mythology, history and classical literature. Along with his critically acclaimed masterpieces, he also illustrated many film magazines and film posters too.

Mostly his subjects oscillates between various events from classical Indian literature including Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas and the contemporary cinema of his times. S. M. Pandit set up his own studio called Studio S. M. Pandit in Bombay’sShivaji Park in 1944. Designed many posters for films as well, such as Barsaat (1949), Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946).

He was a recipient of the Gold Medal of Royal Academy in London. S. M. Pandit was also honoured by the State Lalit Kala Academy Award in 1983 and Rajyotsava Award in 1984.

He passed away in 1993. His paintings are in collection with Roman Art Gallery in New York and many private and public collections in India and abroad.