Anjolie Ela Menon was born in1940 and brought up in West Bengal in a mixed Bengali and American parentage. She did her schooling from Lawrence School in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu. At the age of fifteen she had become a painter. Thereafter she went to study in Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai and later gained a degree in English Literature from Miranda House under Delhi University. At the age of 18 she conducted a solo exhibition along with her fifty-three paintings of a range of styles. Her talent fetched her prestigious French Government scholarship to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Her preferred medium is oil on Masonite, though she has also worked in glass and water colour. Anjolie Ela Menon started experimenting with a subdued palette of translucent colours when she was in Paris. Her paintings have a fine textured surface which she has heightened by furbishing the completed work with a soft dry brush. This reflects a glow which is evocative of medieval icons. Menon applied the distinctiveness of early Christian art, including the anterior view, the moved aside head, and the minor body lengthening but took the female nudity as a recurrent focus. As a result, the creation becomes a dynamic acquaintance of amativeness and melancholy. Even through her thematic portrayal of empty chairs, black crows, hidden figures and windows, she has attempted to develop her symbolic representations of distance and exit in her later works.
As appreciation to Anjolie Ela Menon's talent, she has been conferred laurels like- Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2000; Received French Government Scholarship for Higher Studies in Paris for the years 1959-61; invited to study by The Governments of France, UK and USA during the years 1980-81.