August 21, 2020

POSTED BY

Rutwik Ingale

CATEGORY

Raja Ravi Varma : A Prince among Artists

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Born in Kilimanoor, Kerala, in 1848 to a princely family, Ravi Varma was educated as a court artist in Trivandrum. Through the 1860’s he continued to study and work in Travancore where other court painters such as Ramaswamy Naicker of the Tanjore School first adopted oil as a medium. A …

Born in Kilimanoor, Kerala, in 1848 to a princely family, Ravi Varma was educated as a court artist in Trivandrum. Through the 1860’s he continued to study and work in Travancore where other court painters such as Ramaswamy Naicker of the Tanjore School first adopted oil as a medium.

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A portrait of Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma’s art marks an historic turn in the development of Indian modern art and Indian artists, at the beginning of the movement for Indian Independence. Ravi Varma’s works, which incorporated the use of oil as a medium and a very European style of realism, influenced other artists and shaped a new perception of “Indian Art”. All this took place at a time in Indian history when a “modern and progressive India” was the call of the day.

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“Shanthanoo and Ganga” 
Oil on Canvas By Raja Ravi Varma
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Untitled
By Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma is known for his amazing paintings, which revolve mainly around the Puranas (ancient mythological stories) and the great Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Ravi Varma is one of the few painters who managed to accomplish a beautiful union of Indian tradition with the techniques of European academic art. This is one of the reasons why he is considered as one of the most, if not the most prominent Indian painters.

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Radha In The Moonlight
Oil on Canvas
By Raja Ravi Varma
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Lady With The Lamp
Oil On Canvas
By Raja Ravi Varma

Until his death in 1906, Ravi Varma was arguably the most celebrated and successful artist India had ever known. Scattered over the princely states and temple towns of Southern India, Ravi Varma lived his life in the changing world of court and bazaar artists, as alien tastes and aesthetic standards transformed the terrain of artistic experience in India. Often, he would adapt his style from court to court to meet the taste and preferences of his patrons. He is considered as the master of portraits in India.

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Untitled
By Raja Ravi Varma
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Sita Swayamwar
By Raja Ravi Varma