Satish Gujral

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Satish Gujral
Satish Gujral

(1925-12-25) 25 December 1925 (age 93)
Known forPainting, Sculpting, Mural & Writing
AwardsPadma Vibhushan 1999

Satish Gujral (born 25 December 1925) is an Indian painter, sculptor, muralist and writer of the post-independent era.[1] He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, in 1999, his elder brother, Inder Kumar Gujral, was the former Prime Minister of India.

Early life[edit]

Gujral was born in Jhelum in undivided Punjab in British India;[2] when he was crossing a rickety bridge in Kashmir, he slipped and fell into the rapids, which later resulted in impairment of hearing, which he regained after surgery in 1998, 62 years later.[3]


Because of his hearing problem, many schools refused admission to Gujral. One day he saw a bird sitting on a tree branch and drew a picture of it, it was an early indication of his interest in painting and later in 1939, he joined Mayo School of Arts in Lahore, to study applied arts. He moved to Bombay in 1944 and enrolled in the Sir JJ School of Art. In 1947, due to a recurring sickness, he was forced to drop out of school and leave Bombay.

In 1952, Gujral received a scholarship to study at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where he was apprenticed to the renowned artists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.[4]

A mural by Satish Gujral at Punjab Agricultural University campus in Ludhiana, Punjab


The Partition of India and the associated agony of the immigrants impacted a young Satish and manifested itself in the art works he created. From 1952 to 1974, Gujral organised shows of his sculptures, paintings and graphics in many cities across the world such as New York City, New Delhi, Montreal, Berlin and Tokyo, among others.[5]

Gujral was also an architect and his design of the Belgium Embassy in New Delhi was selected by the international forum of architects as one of the finest buildings built in the 20th century.

In popular culture[edit]

Dozens of documentaries have been made recording Gujral's work and a full feature film on his life is in the making, he was also part of the 2007 BBC television film, Partition: The Day India Burned. A 24-minute documentary called "A Brush with Life" was released on 15 February 2012 which was based on his own book with the same name. Four books of his work have been published, including an autobiography.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Gujral lives with his wife Kiran in New Delhi, their son Mohit Gujral, who is an architect, is married to former model, Feroze Gujral. They also have 2 daughters, Alpana, a jewellery designer, and Raseel Gujral Ansal, an interior designer and owner of Casa Paradox & Casa Pop and is married to Navin Ansal.[7]


Gujral was awarded India's second-highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan in 1999. In April 2014, he was honoured with NDTV Indian of the Year Award.[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  2. ^ "Satish Gujral, an invaluable pearl of the Indian art world". 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  3. ^ "'When the first wave of sound hit me, I screamed out: I hear firecrackers!'". 9 September 1998. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Memories of partition and more from ace artist Satish Gujral". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  5. ^ "Satish Gujral". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  6. ^ "The Official Website". Satish Gujral. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  7. ^ Rashmi Hemrajani (2013-03-13). "Art-inspired jewellery | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  8. ^ "Amjad Ali Khan, Satish Gujral honoured with NDTV Indian of the Year Award". IANS. Retrieved 29 April 2014.