Fine Arts

The Department of Fine Arts was established in 1948 by Dr. (Sr.) Edith Tömöry and Sr. Sylvestra. A course in Art History was first introduced at the pre-university level, followed by an undergraduate programme titled B.A. degree in History of Fine Arts and Drawing and Painting. An M.A. degree programme was introduced in 1963. The department offers a research programme in M.Phil. 

Innovation has been the hallmark of the department. In keeping with changing times and with the desire to cater to societal needs, the curriculum has undergone appropriate and relevant modifications over the years. From 2008, the department offers a restructured four year B.V.A. (Bachelor of Visual Arts) degree programme with specialisations in Art and Design. Both B.V.A. and M.A. degree programmes have been updated in 2015.

The department organises annual art and design exhibitions by graduating students. The exhibitions encourage students to present their work with confidence for critical review by the public.

The pioneering vision of Dr. (Sr.) Tömöry who sought to offer academic programmes in art has grown and blossomed over the years. This unique endeavour has nurtured creativity in hundreds of young women from all over the country. The alumnae of the department have found fulfilling careers as artists, art historians, art critics, art teachers, art managers, art dealers, graphic designers, textile designers, jewellery designer, illustrators, animators, web designers and entrepreneurs.


The Department of Fine Arts has an independent art library, with wide ranging titles in its holdings. With a collection of nearly 5900 books, it is one of the best in the city of Chennai.

The library is exclusively for reference and is managed by a library assistant. It is also open to former students and research scholars with permission from the Principal and on payment of a fee.

Bachelor of Visual Arts - B.V.A.

The four-year undergraduate programme is comprehensive and attempts to provide a wide exposure to both Art History and Studio Practice. The courses in Art History spread over eight semesters cover periods from the Ancient to the Modern in India and in the West.

The studio based practical courses are designed to equip students with skills in art and design. Students can choose to specialise in art or design from the fourth semester onwards. 

The programme is as per the mandatory structure required of B.V.A. degree programmes by the University of Madras. Students are required to take Foundation Courses in Language and English in the first three semesters.

Students need to earn a minimum of 174 credits to qualify for the B.V.A. Degree. 

Major Core Courses

  • Buddhist Art in India
  • Drawing - Practical
  • Hindu and Jaina Art
  • Art from Prehistory to Medieval Europe
  • Indo-Islamic Art and Rajput Miniatures
  • Basic Painting - Practical
  • Art in Europe (1280 - 1790)
  • Art in Europe (1780 - 1910)
  • Indian Craft and Folk Art Traditions
  • Digital Photography - Practical
  • Modernism and Postmodernism in the West
  • Paper Art - Practical
  • Modern Art in India
  • Modern Architecture
  • Art of Indigenous Cultures

Allied Core Courses

  • Fundamentals of Art History
  • Drawing and Rendering - Practical
  • Design Fundamentals - Practical
  • Figure Drawing - Practical

Major Elective Courses

  • Colour - Practical
  • Still Life Painting - Practical
  • Illustration - Practical
  • Figure Painting - Practical
  • Textile Surface Patterning - Practical
  • Landscape Painting - Practical
  • Typography and Design - Practical
  • Figure Illustration - Practical
  • Visual Merchandising - Practical
  • Creative Expressions - Practical
  • Project - Design Process and Developement
  • Project - Art Process and Developement
  • Project - Design
  • Project - Art

Allied Elective Courses

  • Indian Heritage and Tourism
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Journalistic Writing
  • Consumer Psychology

Independent Study Course

  • Fashion Concepts, Manufacture and Retail
  • History of Graphic Design

The Department offers the following General Elective courses to students of other departments:

  • Recycled Art - Practical
  • Creative Printing - Practical
  • Fabric Art - Practical
  • Embroidery - Practical
  • Collage - Practical
  • Jewellery from Alternate Materials - Practical

Master of History of Fine Arts - M.A.

The two-year postgraduate programme aims to prepare students for the design industry. The intention is to offer a balance between traditional art and design skills, new technology and the creative development of original ideas.

Courses in Art, Graphic Design and Textile Design are offered to prepare students for challenging and creative careers. Students need to earn a minimum of 91 credits to qualify for the Masters Degree.

Core Courses

  • Arts and Ideas
  • Design History
  • Drawing and Painting - Practical
  • Design Dynamic - Practical
  • Weaving - Practical
  • Publishing Design - Practical
  • Illustration - Practical
  • Textile Printing - Practical
  • Communcation Design I - Practical
  • Mobile Application and Web Page Design - Practical
  • Fashion, Accessories and Embellishment - Practical
  • Textile Product Development - Practical
  • Communication Design II - Practical
  • Dissertation

Elective Courses

  • Digital Photography - Practical
  • Creative Photography - Practical
  • Research Methodology
  • Critical Writing
  • Visual Culture
  • Crafts in India

Summer Internship

Independent Study Courses

  • Indian Aesthetics and Philosophy
  • Indian Iconography

The Department offers the following Post Graduate Elective courses to students of other departments:

  • Textile Dyeing and Printing - Practical
  • Creative Design - Practical


  • Art History and its Methods
  • Theories in Art
  • Methodology of Art Research
  • Dissertation