The college was founded in 1888 by Sri Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, the Maharaja for the state of Travancore. The college was first known as H. H. The Maharaja’s School of Arts, Travancore. Later on in the 20th century the school was renamed to The University of Travancore. In 1957, after the formation of first democratically elected government in Kerala, the School of Arts was brought under the Directorate of Technical Education. In 1975, the school was upgraded as the College of Fine Arts and became affiliated with the University of Kerala.
The higher education in Fine Arts had begun in Kerala with the establishment of the College of Fine Arts Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram in 1976. Painting, Sculpture and Applied Arts are the three departments providing specialization for the Bachelors Degree course