Liyanamanage Kulatunge Karunaratne is holding an exhibition of paintings and drawings this week. He has just turned 92. His birthday was on June 21.
Almost all the visual impressions and copies of works of art from across the country which form his “portfolio”, meticulously done during and after his career at the Department of Archaeology, will be on display at the exhibition titled, ‘Purasanda’.
The exhibition of more than 250 works of art by L.K. Karunaratne will be from August 17 to19 at the Art Gallery in Colombo.
Some of the original works of art that he copied may already be lost to posterity, old friend Prabath Wijesekera (former Head of Exhibitions of the National Museum), who is helping with the preparations for the exhibition tells the Sunday Times, citing some of the Sigiriya frescoes.
It was Mr. Karunaratne’s work at the Department of Archaeology under the “one and only” Dr. Senarath Paranavitane that propelled him to engage in detailed drawings, we learn when we visit him at his home in Kotte where he lives with his daughter Anoma, son-in-law Ananda Gunawardena and granddaughter Kushani.
Having had his early education at Sri Rahula College in his hometown of Katugastota, he had later joined Ananda College, Colombo, going on to the Technical College, Maradana, to master the craft of draftsmanship, the Sunday Times gathers from his family. A short stint at the Irrigation Department had ended with his life’s work starting at the Archaeology Department in 1947.