Raja Ravi Varma Raja Ravi Varma - (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906) was an Indian artist from the princely state of Travancore (presently in Kerala) who achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. Raja Ravi Varma was the Pioneer of Modern Indian Art in 19th century. Raja Ravi Varma painted scenes form Hindu mythology and popularised it. He introduced large bright areas of colour in his portrait and landscape. Ravi Varma's younger brother C. Raja Ravi Varma joined with him as companion and collaborator during their art career. Ravi Varma on his twentieth year he had the chance to observe the working technique of Theodore Jensen, a Danish born British artist, who visited Travancore in 1869. Ravi Varma's work was acclaimed at the Pune exhibition in 1880 and art exhibition held in Vienna and Chicago in 1892. The rulers of Mysore fibre optic lighting and Travancore appreciated his numerous paintings of Hindu mythology. Ravi Varma's finest paintings of "Sakuntala", "The Miser", "Lady with the Mirror", "Yasodha" and "Krishna" are on display in the new gallery lighted . He copied the western technique in his work, but he chose for his subject themes from Hindu mythology. He won Governor's Gold medal for his Nair Lady at Toilet, in 1873 Raja Ravi Varma travelled widely throughout India and commissioned painting for Indian rulers. During his last days Ravi Varma could not devote much time to painting, as he became the guardian of the next ruler of Travancore, who was then a minor. He dominated the art scene like a colossus form 1870 till his death in 1906. Ravi Varma is particularly noted for his paintings depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and Nala and Damayanti, from the Mahabharata. Ravi Varma's representation of mythological characters has become a part of the Indian imagination of the epics. He is often criticised for being too showy and sentimental in his style. However his work remains very popular in India. 1.2. 3.
1-The Maharastrian lady. 2-"Galaxy of Musicians", Indian women dressed in regional attire playing a variety of musical instruments popular in different parts of the country.3-The demi-god vulture Jatayu is struck down by the demon Ravana, as Jatayu attempted to intercede in the demon's kidnapping of Sita.4-Damayanti sending a message to Nala via a swan.
In 1904, Viceroy Lord Curzon, on behalf of the King Emperor, bestowed upon Raja Ravi Varma the . At this time his name was mentioned as "Raja Ravi Varma" for the first time, raising objections from Maharaja Moolam Thirunal of Travancore and besides, as per the Marumakkathayamtradition, the name of the maternal uncle (Raja Raja Varma) was prefixed to the name. Thereafter he was always referred to as Raja Ravi Varma. In 1993, art critic Rupika Chawla and artist A.Ramachanran jointly curated a large exhibition of Raja Ravi Varma's works at the National museum,Delhi. Considering his vast contribution to Indian art, the Government of Kerala has instituted an award called Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram, which is awarded every year to people who show excellence in the field of art and culture. Awardees include: K.G. Subramanyan (2001)
M.V. Devan (2002)
A. Ramachandran (2003)
Vasudevan Namboodiri (2004).
Kanayi Kunhiraman (2005)
V. S. Valiathan (2006)
The renewed interest in Raja Ravi Varma has spilled into the area of popular culture as films and music videos have started using his images. A college dedicated to fine arts was also constituted in his honour at Mavilikera , Kerala. Raja Ravi Varma High School at Kilimanoor was named after him. There are many cultural organisations throughout Kerala in his name. The following is a list of the prominent...
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