Inside the old red brick wall, in each breath you take in, you can feel the vivacious Dionysian spirit. An abode of arts; yes, we can rightly say so without any hesitation about the esteemed College of Fine Arts in Thiruvananthapuram. Designed in the Victorian architectural style, the building with its red coloured facades decorated with strikingly contrasting white pilaster, pointed arches, colonnaded verandahs and overtopping sloping roof, stands out in the city.
Located in the heart of the capital city, the College of Fine Arts has remained the nurturing centre for several eminent artists, ever since it was established in 1881 by the then king of Travancore His Highness Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma. The college in the beginning was known as His Highness Maharaja's School of Arts. T. S. Seshadri who was renowned for his oil paintings and portraits was the first head of the institution.
The institution was later brought under the administration of The University of Travancore and in 1957, after the formation of first democratically elected government in Kerala, the School of Arts was brought under the Directorate of Technical Education. In 1957 the institution was upgraded to College of Fine Arts and was affiliated to the University of Kerala.
The Bachelor of Arts course was introduced in the college in 1979 in three main disciplines - sculpture, painting and applied arts. The duration of the course is 4 years in which the first year will be an integrated course common to all students, which acts as a foundation to the BFA specialization courses. Depending on their talent and aptitude, the students will be allotted one of the three specializations after passing the first year university examination. Foreign students can contact the institution and Technical Education Department to enquire about the admission and other procedures.
Visitors are allowed inside the campus with permission. Within the green campus one will come across several art works including sculptures and paintings of eminent artistes who were formerly the students of this institution. Those who are keenly inclined towards arts can visit the various art studios of students and faculty where these masterminds are occupied in their creation.