Panaji, Dec 11 (IANS): Legendary cartoonist Mario Miranda, who left an indelible stamp of the Goan ethos on the national consciousness and was hailed for his pictorial travelogues of world cities, died Sunday in his ancestral home in Loutolim after a prolonged illness. He was 85.
Habiba, widow of the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee who made Goan landscapes and people come alive on canvas, said Miranda died in his sleep.
"He had been ailing for long and he passed away peacefully in his sleep," Habiba told IANS.
Condoling his death, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat told the IANS that Miranda's loss was a setback to Goa.
"Miranda was one of the greatest artists the century ever produced. In all his artistic work, he had always portrayed Goan character to the world.
"He has several exhibitions in almost all the five continents wherein he displayed his talents in international circles and laid emphasis on the Indian culture and particularly Goan ethos."
Miranda was also conferred India's highest civilian awards - the Padma Shri in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002.
Born Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Britto Miranda, he earned his pips as a cartoonist for the Illustrated Weekly of India.
Apart from his newspaper cartoons, Miranda's skill at illustrations earned him demi-god status in the genre.
Recounts Ashwin Tombat, former editor of local English newspaper the Herald: "He used to cartoon in the Economic Times and Femina. His characters were fabulous.
"But it is not his cartoons, but his illustrations which were impeccable. And his tarvellogues and the beautiful impressions of the cities he travelled made him legendary," Tombat said.
Miranda authored several pictorial travelogues on some of the most famous cities in the world including Lisbon and London.
His illustrated book on the history of Goa co-authored with Manohar Mulgaonkar made him one of the biggest proponents of illustration.