Sathiraju Sankara Narayana (Shankar - 20/02/1936 - 09/07/2020) was born in Narsapur, West Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, India. He did his schooling at Kesari High School, Chennai and completed his Honors Degree in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai (1957 batch) and joined the services of All India Radio in 1963. After working in various capacities for over 32 years, he retired in 1995 as Station Director of AIR in Chennai.

Sankara Narayana hails from an artistic family. His father, Late Sri Venu Gopala Rao, an Advocate at Madras High Court, was a very creative person. His elder brother, Bapu was an eminent artist and Film Director. Inspired by him, he used to draw in his earlier days and took to drawing portraits later as a hobby. While in College and service, he used to contribute his portraits to College magazines and Akashavani journals.

After retiring from service, he pursued his hobby of making portraits of eminent personalities from different fields covering Philosophy, Politics, Music, Sports, Fine Arts, Cinema, Literature, Business, etc. and has completed around 3000 portraits using Charcoal and Pencil. His website is      www.sankarportraits.com

He has won many accolades for his work and has received autographed portraits from eminent personalities like Dr. Abdul Kalam, Sri A B Vajpayee, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Asha Bhonsle, Rajnikant, Kamal Haasan, K Balachandar, Ratan Tata, Azim Premji, Prof. M S Swaminathan, Prof. CNR Rao, Pt. Ravi Shankar, E Narayanamurthy, S P Balasubramaniam, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, L Subramaniam, K J Yesudas, Girish Karnad, Dr. Balamurali Krishna, Dr. U R Anantha Murthy, R K Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni, Gilchrist, Ussain Bolt, Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Dr. C Narayana Reddy, Dr S S Badrinath, Dr Shanta and Dr. Prannoy Roy, to name a few.

His portraits are published in Eenadu, Andhra Jyoti, Andhra Bhoomi, Vaarta, Surya, Navya, Post Noon from Andhra Pradesh; Udayavani from Karnataka; English magazines namely Samudra, Sruthi, Samagaana, Jade, Indian Panorama and Catalyst . Programs on his art work were aired in AIR and telecast in DD (Hyderabad) , HMTV, Bhaarath Today and NDTV Hindu channels.

So far 5 Books have been published with his portraits, namely:

‘Haasa Rekhalu’ - Telugu book featuring comedy artists and musicians

‘Naada Rekhalu’ - Telugu book featuring Carnatic and Hindustani musicians 

‘Kalam Rekhalu’ - Telugu book featuring Telugu Literary personalities

‘Geetarchana’ – Telugu book featuring Philosophers and Saints of India

‘Maestros of Carnatic Music’ – English book featuring stalwarts of Carnatic music

His portraits were exhibited at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore in Feb 2011 (honored with the “Mysore turban”) and at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad in Oct 2011. In Dec 2014, portraits of film personalities were exhibited at Hyderabad Film Club as part of Bapu Film Festival. In Dec 2015, he was honored with “Bapu Aathmeeya Puraskar” in Narsapur by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. In Feb 2017, he was presented with Lifetime Achievement Award by Ramu Endowments and TAG Corporation at Chennai. In June 2019- Srujana Cultural and Literary Organization honoured him with Life time achievement award.

India Book of Records has recognized his “sketching of eminent personalities” as a National Record achievement.

About 35 portraits of Carnatic musicians were exhibited at the Music Academy, Chennai during the Annual Music Festival in Dec 2011. About 50 portraits of Classical musicians have been permanently displayed by TAG Corporation as part of their Digital Listening Archives in the Music Department at Madras University, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore and Kalakshetra Foundation at Chennai, Central University of Hyderabad, Saptaparni Auditorium at Hyderabad, Gayana Samaja of Bangalore, Indira Gandhi National Institute of Arts & Culture, Bangalore, Gana Bharathi of Mysore, and also in other countries like Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Portraits of stalwarts of various Indian Dance Forms are kept on permanent display at The Music Academy, Chennai in TAG Digital Archives Hall.

In February 2020, about 50 portraits of Carnatic musicians became part of a permanent exhibit in the Archives at The University of Silicon Andhra, in the USA.

When asked about his inspiration, he always attributed it to his wife, Late Smt Shanta, who inspired and encouraged him to pursue art after retirement. His elder brother Late Sri Bapu, eminent artist and director and Late Sri Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, an eminent writer, have always been a great source of motivation and moral support. He pursued his passion of capturing famous personalities through his portraits right up to the very end.

Sri Sankara Narayana's children are committed to keeping his memory alive through his art, and welcome enquiries and orders for his portraits.


Phone:  098403 72415             Email:  shankarair@gmail.com              Website: www.sankarportraits.com