Artist S Elayaraja passes away at 43

Elayaraja with one of his paintings

Artist S Elayaraja died in a private hospital in Chennai in the early hours of 6 June (Monday) due to Covid-related complications. He was 43.

Elayaraja started his journey from a very humble family background hailing from a small town in Tamil Nadu. His creativity and talent made him a world renowned artist. Some of his best works are realistic paintings inspired from Raja Ravi Varma’s work. He comes from a nuclear family and with a basic financial status. Elayaraja has breathed life into the faces and lives of uncaptured people, the common crowd in everyday moments of life. Exquisite innocent expressions with delicate play of light and fine details that have the power to captivate you with its realism. A reflection of his thoughts each painting reaches out to you with the naive eyes of its subjects engrossed in their own little world of regular work.

He was born on 19 April 1979 in a small village near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district. The artist was the youngest of eleven siblings- five brothers and five sisters. During his childhood his family discovered artistic talent in him and after completing schooling he went on to study bachelor of Fine Arts in Kumbakonam Arts college during 1996 to 2001. He did his Masters in Fine Arts painting from the Govt College of Fine Arts, Chennai. 

Elayaraja was a recipient of several state and national awards, including the 28th and 29th Annual Exhibition of Art 1999 in 2000, Best out going student award by Lalit Kala Akademi (2000), ‘Oviyam’ art competition conducted by ‘Ananda Vikatan’ and  ‘Youth Festival’ art competition conducted by ‘Kumudam’ in 2003 and 2006-07 ‘Grant of Scholarship’ conducted by Lalit Kala Academi; to name a few.

The ‘King of Realism Art’ shall live on through his work forever! 

Elayaraja’s painting