Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is an art institution and cultural organisation located in Bangalore, Karnataka. Its main aim is the promotion of art and culture and it is well known for the various art exhibitions that it conducts both at the state and the National levels.

Chitra Santhe event 2024

The 21st edition of the Chitra Santhe event is set to take place on Sunday, January 7, 2024! Regarded as the "Kumbh Mela of art," Chitra Santhe is an art market orchestrated by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. This gathering presents a rich array of drawings and paintings, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a lively village market.

Particular Details
Ticket Price FREE
Address Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath,
No.1, Art Complex, Kumara Krupa Road,
Kumara Park East, Sheshadripuram,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001.

Upcoming Event 21st Chitra Santhe
Date January 7, 2024
Application Deadline November 30, 2023

History of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath

In the early 1950s, the esteemed Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich, residing in Bangalore at the time, recognized the need for a comprehensive art institution in the city. Collaborating with his industrialist friend H.K. Kejriwal, they approached Devraj Urs, the Chief Minister of Karnataka at that time, requesting land for the construction of an art complex in Bangalore. Devraj Urs, supportive of the idea, suggested that they contribute to the funding, assuring that the Government of Karnataka would match the amount raised. Kejriwal pledged a donation of Rs. 500 thousand from his foundation, and in line with the commitment, the Government of Karnataka allocated Rs. 1 million to support the initiative. Additionally, two and a half acres of land on Kumara Krupa Road in Bangalore were allocated by the government for the establishment of this art complex.

To oversee this endeavor, a Chitrakala Parishath trust was established, with key trustees including S.M. Krishna, the Minister of Industries in the Karnataka Government at that time, Nagarathnamma, the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, along with Svetoslav Roerich and Kejriwal. Subsequent trustees included Ramakrishna Hegde and Jeevraj Alva. The founding secretary of this initiative was Prof. M.S. Nanjunda Rao.

Dr. Svetoslav Roerich generously contributed numerous paintings by both himself and his father, Nicholas Roerich, to the Parishath. In its early years, the organization initiated art exhibitions at various locations across Karnataka and India, along with hosting conferences and workshops centered around art and culture. The inclusion of Nanjunda Rao's Chitrakala Vidyalaya into the Parishath occurred in 1964. Subsequently, in 1966, it earned recognition as an art center from both the state and national Lalit Kala Akademi (academy of art).

A significant undertaking by the Parishath involved conducting a comprehensive survey of Karnataka state's art treasures, including the renowned Mysore paintings. This survey successfully catalogued the art treasures and spurred extensive studies and research on various art forms. Over time, the Parishath expanded its facilities, incorporating galleries and establishing a graphic studio, transforming it into a fully equipped art complex. In 1993, with the support of the Parishath, an INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) center was inaugurated in Bangalore. In 1995, Mr. Kejriwal donated his family's art collection, showcased in spacious galleries within the Parishath.

The evolution continued in 1998-99 with the addition of a sculpture gallery to the Parishath complex. An open-air theatre was also constructed to meet the needs of visual and performing artists. In 2003, two large galleries dedicated to international and folk art were inaugurated. Among the noteworthy annual events is the Chitra Santhe (art bazaar), a platform where hundreds of artists from across India participate, showcasing and selling their artwork to the public.

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Galleries

The paintings of Nicholas Roerich have been placed in two galleries called Roerich I and Roerich II. Paintings donated by Kejriwal have been exhibited in the Kejriwal gallery.

Chitrakala Vidyalaya (College of Fine Arts)

Chitrakala Vidyalaya was started by MS Nanjunda Rao as an art-school in a small room in the locality of Basavanagudi, Mysore. Art enthusiasts would meet here to discuss topics of interest. This school was merged with Chitrakala Parishath in the year 1964 and later upgraded to the College of Fine Arts; affiliated with the Bangalore University. Some of the courses taught here are painting, sculpture, applied art, graphic art and art history. The college offers a graduation degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts. The Karnataka Government provided a 13-acre (53,000 m2) plot of land near Doddaballapur for this college. An extension of the college called Chitrakala Institute of Advanced Studies (CIAS) was also started to cater to the advanced studies in art. CIAS offers Master's degree in Fine Arts (MFA).

INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage)

INTACH is a cultural organisation established with the mandate or conservation and restoration of Indian heritage objects like historical buildings, paintings, art work and manuscripts. Some of the objectives of INTACH are:

  • To sensitize the public about the cultural legacy of India.
  • To protect and conserve heritage objects.
  • To document and catalogue historical buildings and other cultural objects
  • To develop policies and regulations to protect the heritage of the country.
  • To provide trainings in the field of conservation, restoration and preservation of specific works of art
  • To provide emergency response to save heritage objects in times of disaster.
  • To encourage partnerships and colloborations with other like-minded agencies and also to generate sponsorships.

The Bangalore centre of INTACH was established in the year 1993. Some of the important projects undertaken by this centre are:

  • Restoration of paintings of the Mysore Palace
  • Restoration of paintings by well know European Artists such as Degas and Rousseau
  • Pencil sketches of botanical specimens at the Horticultural Library, Bangalore
  • Restoration of oil paintings at the Bangalore Town Hall
  • Restoration of portraits at the Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Publications

Another important activity undertaken by the Parishath is to publish books related to art and culture. A book on Mysore paintings and its translated version in the Kannada language is one of the important publications by the Parishath. Some of the other publications brought out by the Parishat are:

  • A fully illustrated volume on Ganesha (in both English and Kannada)
  • Humanism in Art by Svetoslav Roerich
  • An illustrated album on Svetoslav Roerich
  • A catalogue showcasing Movement in Indian Art which was released to commemorate the 50 years of Indian Independence
  • A commemorative album to felicitate Mr. Nanjunda Rao
  • A volume on Leather Puppetry.

Chitra Santhe

Chitra Santhe is an annual event organised by the Parishath that attracts artists from all over India who showcase their artwork for sale to the public. It is held along the footpaths of the Kumara Krupa Road which gets occupied by artists selling items like paintings, porcelain, sculptures and other art objects. Some artists even offer on-the-spot portrait sketches of people interested in them.

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath
College of Fine Arts
Art Complex, Kumara Krupa Road,
Bangalore 560 001
Phone Number: 080-22261816, 22263424

Both Long term and Short term courses are offered on Drawing and Painting.

Chitrakala Parishat Mysore -