Born in 1926, in Madgaon, to a Brahmin Hindu family with strict traditional values. Pai studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai from 1943 to 1947, and was awarded the Mayo Medal in 1947. He moved to Paris in 195, where he pursued his art in the company of the Indian artists Sadanand Bakre, Syed Haider Raza, Francis Newton Souza and Akbar Padamsee. It is in Europe where he gained technical experience in printmaking and oil painting. After further training at the École des Beaux-Arts, he stayed in Paris for ten years during which he held ten solo exhibitions in the city. His work was exhibited widely, including exhibitions in London, Munich, Hanover, Stuttgart, New York, Bremen, San Francisco, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Goa and São Paulo. He is the recipient of three Lalit Kala national awards (1961, 1963 & 1972) and has been awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the government of India in 1985. He was honored by government of Goa in 1987 and awarded the Nehru award in 1995. Laxman Pai was principal of College of Art in Goa from 1977-87. He participated in the Biennale de Paris in 1961, the Tokyo Biennale in 1963 and the São Paulo Biennale in1963. Returning to India, he took up the post of the principal of the Goa College of Art in 1977 and served the institution until 1987. His paintings are on display at the Ben and Abby Grey Foundation, New York Public Library, Berlin Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Paris, Madras Museum, Nagpur Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and Punjab University Museum. In 2006 he had a retrospective exhibition in Paris.