A Ramachandran was born in 1935 in Kerala, India. He graduated with a degree in Malayalam Literature from Kerala University before pursuing a Diploma in Fine Arts and Crafts from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan. Deeply influenced by Nandalal Bose, Ramachandran makes a strong case for Indian aesthetics and for the use of classical Indian images to articulate an ideological position. The painter converted to using archetypal Indian imagery only after years of painting in the modernist vein. Deeply influenced by the prevalent socio-political situation in Kerala, his early works represented oppression, violence, war. Human figures were dismembered, most of them headless. He has had several solo shows. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2005 and the Raja Ravi Verma Puraskar by the Government of Kerala in 2003.