Saturday, April 29, 2017


Today is the birth anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma, the celebrated Indian painter and artist.He was born this day in 1848. He is among the greatest of painters on the Indian Art Scene , for the unique aesthetic value of his works as also for the visual documentation of Indian social life and mythology. He employed European techniques to deal with Indian subjects and gave a new meaning to art . Drawing heavily on epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata he painted mythological figures and scenes. He also took his subjects from contemporary social life. He also provided affordable lithographs of his paintings which being based on mythology evoked interest among the masses and helped his art reach far and wide , making him and his works immensely popular.
 He was closely related to the Royal family of Travancore in present day Kerala , hence the prefix Raja.

He was patronized by the Maharaja of Travancore . He learnt water color painting as well as oil painting . He learnt oil painting from Theodor Jenson, a Dutch artist and portrait maker. He established his own Lithograph Printing Press and made prints of his paintings , especially of religious and mythological figures. In 1904, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy , presented to him Kaisar-e- Hind Gold Medal on behalf of the King Emperor in recognition of his services to art.
Among his prominent works are the Village Belle, Damayanti talking to a Swan, Arjun and Subhadra, Shakuntala, Jatayu, Lord Rama conquers Varuna, Nair woman, Draupadi, Shantanu and Matsyagandha.
He died on 2nd October 1906, aged 58.
Our humble tributes to the doyen of Indian Art !

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