1920, Amar was the oldest son to Bandhu Lal and Chini Maya. His family
was a part of the only painting based art clan in Nepal, the Chitrakars,
or the artists. He grew up in Kel Tole near Indra Chowk, and once
old enough, he helped at his father's family shop and worked for many
years as a shopkeeper. His father, noting Amar Chitrakar's interest
in painting and keeping in mind the family tradition, encouraged him
to follow his interest.
Chitrakar did not have the opportunity to take up art classes in school, he looked
for apprenticeship opportunities and Tej Bahadur Pun, an artist of some fame at
the time, took Chitrakar under his wing. Amar Chitrakar also learned traditional
techniques and skills through his uncles. Confident about his abilities, he began
to put his art on sale. He was commissioned paint movie posters at Ranjit Studio
in India with his friend Manohar Man Pun. Later, he worked for well-known artist
Bal Krishna Sama for a salary of Rs. 80 per month.
the time Amar Chitrakar was 26, he had started making stone sculpture, particularly
busts and life-sized forms (e.g. the statue of Jung Bahadur Rana). Paintings of
the kings of the Shah dynasty he made at the time, from the founder of the Shah
His Majesty Prithvi Narayan Shah to the late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, are
now housed in the National Museum near Swayambhu. As time passed, he focused his
attention on musicians, politicians, and writers. His work was appreciated and
demanded from across the nation and he was asked to by the Nepalese Mint to design
coins and paper currency.
Chitrakar worked in oil and water color and made stone sculpture. He also took
photographs particularly during his years with writer and artist Bal Krishna Sama.
He was nominated to the Royal Nepal Academy for three consecutive terms and was
later offered a lifetime membership. While in the Academy he published a book
on the traditional arts of Nepal. He exhibited on a regular basis in Nepal. National
Association of Fine Arts awarded him several times for his work. He also received
the Trishakti Pad Doshra, the Gorkha Dacchin Bahu, and the Indra Rajya Laxmi awards
who knew him found him polite and kind. After the death of his wife,
Chandrawati, and a daughter, Amar Chitrakar is believed to have
lost interest in many things. He died a well appreciated artist
in 1999 at the age of 79. His eldest son continues the clan's art