M Prasanna Kumar
Portrait Artist

About the Artist 

"I believe that I am one of the happiest creatures in the world because I have found what I am meant to do on this earth and it is appreciated by others"

-M.Prasanna Kumar                                                                                                    


Born in Thalakudi near Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India, Kumar started sketching as a hobby during his student days (1957-1962) in M.C.M. Polytechnic in Avadi near Madras(Chennai). Later, finding good improvement,  decided to make his career as a full-time artist. In 1964 he joined CHITHRA ART SCHOOL  in Nagercoil to learn the preliminary lessons in oil painting under the guidance of Krishnan, Head of the Institution. After a brief period  he left the School and  started painting portraits  like Pope Paul VI,  M.S.Subbulakshmi and many other portraits,independently at home.

Meanwhile, he used to visit The Hindu College Library in Nagercoil frequently to see his uncle A.S.Mani who was the Librarian at that time. There he saw a huge book  - The Outline of Art ,authored by Sir William Orpen.

This book narrates in detail the history of art and artists with good number of reproductions. This book served as a great inspiration and motivation for his future career. He was encouraged also by his cousin brother L.C.Thanu (former Principal, Hindu college) and cousin Gangu at his native place before  arriving in Madras (Chennai) to start his career as a professional portrait artist.

In 1975, Kumar moved to Madras (Chennai) to start his career as a professional portrait artist. Soon, he enrolled as a member in all the leading libraries: Adyar Library, British Council Library,American Library and Max Mueller Bhavan Library. These libraries had the vital role in making him a full-fledged artist with essential knowledge for a professional portrait artist. Also, he got the good opportunity of meeting  people with good heart  like Major Srikanth  ( A.D.C. to Governor), R. Ramakrishnan ( Sheriff of Madras), John B.S. Coats, President, Theosophical Society, Justice. P.R.Gokulakrishnan , Chief Justice, Gujarat HighCourt (Rtd) M.G. Balasubramanian  ( I.A.S. Rtd ), M. Gopalakrishnan ( Ex. Chairman,Indian Bank), Justice. K.Venkataswami (Supreme Court Judge) and friends like A. Ramachandran (I.O.B). They all have been highly helpful in shaping his career.

During the long span of his career, he had been fortunate to draw the attention of many discerning art lovers to his work as a portrait artist, including leading personages and dignitaries including V.O.C. Subramanian, S/o Kappalottiya Thamizhan who being impressed by his work introduced him to the Chairman of Madras Port Trust and he did some remarkable portraits of some national leaders for the trust.                                      

In 2005, Kumar got the wonderful opportunity ( Landmark event) to meet the Governor H.E. Shri. Surjit Singh Barnala at Raj Bhavan and paint a beautiful portrait of His Excellency. H.E. was so kind to respond to his request to visit his studio at his residence to see the completed portrait. A proud moment to cherish.

A rare honor and recognition to his work in the field of portrait painting which he is doing for nearly 5 decades. Again, in 2007, Kumar received a personal letter  from the Governor asking to do a portrait of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for Raj Bhavan.

"You have done a wonderful job"  was the comment he received from the Governor for that portrait. Kumar is full of gratitude to His Excellency for his concern and good-will and for all that he did for him for the love of art. 
*!975 - Moved to Chennai                                                                 
*1976 - Portrait of President of India
    - Fahruddin Ali Ahmed, painted by me,
   was presented to the
   President by Sherff of Madras
   Sri. R Ramakrishnan as the gift of Chennai

*!985 - Meeting Rajiv Gandhi, former
  Prime Minister of India at Raj Bhavan to
  present the portrait of Indira Gandhi.

*2005- Meeting Governor Surjit Singh
  Barnala at Raj Bhavan
*2006- Governor visits his studio
* 2007- Personal Letter from Governor
  (a rare honor) asking to paint a portrait of
  APJAbdul Kalam  for Raj Bhavan
                                                           Some sketches done by me during my student days, 50 years back!                   
                                                                                  Sir C P Ramaswami Aiyer                                                                                                                                                      
    Sivaji as he appeared in SANTHI 
                                                                                           Dr M Visweswarayya                                 Dr S Radhakrishnan                                                                                                                                                                                     

 I hope you like it!






Click to add text, images, and other content