Raja Ravi Varma (born April 29,1848 at Kilimanoor, Kerala, India). Raja Ravi Varma married Rani Bhageerathi Bayi (Kochu Pangi Amma) from the Mavelikara Royal Family. They had three sons and two daughters. Prince Kerala Varma, their eldest son, went missing. Prince Rama Varma, their second son studied at the JJ School of Arts at Mumbai and became an artist.Prince Raja Raja Varma was his other son. Princess Mahaprabha and Princess Uma Bayi were his daughters.He is recognized as one of the greatest painters of India. He died in 1906.
Education and Career
He got exposed to west when he came first in the 1873 Vienna Art Exhibition. His most famous paintings were the depiction of scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana. The paintings fused Indian traditions with European techniques of academic art. Princess Mahaprabha, his daughter, appears in two of his well-known paintings. His paintings women clad in beautiful sari were both graceful and shapely.
Raja Ravi Varma’s well-known works include Village Belle, Lady Lost in Thought, Damayanti Talking to a Swan, The Orchestra, Arjuna and Subhadra, Lady with lemon, The Heartbroken, Swarbat Player, Shakuntala, Lord Krishna as Ambassador, Jatayu, a bird devotee of Lord Rama is mauled by Rawana, Victory of Indrajit, A Family of Beggars, A Lady Playing Swarbat, Lady Giving Alms at the Temple, Lord Rama Conquers Varuna, Nair Woman, Romancing Couple, Draupadi Dreading to Meet Kichaka, Shantanu and Matsyagandha, Shakuntala Composing a Love Letter to King Dushyanta, and Girl in Sage Kanwa's Hermitage (Rishi-Kanya).
A number of publications in English depicts his works such as Raja Ravi Varma - The Most Celebrated Painter of India: 1848-1906, Parsram Mangharam, Bangalore, 2007; Raja Ravi Varma - The Painter Prince:1848-1906, Parsram Mangharam, Bangalore, 2003; Raja Ravi Varma and the Printed Gods of India, Erwin Neumayer & Christine Schelberger, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2003; Raja Ravi Varma : The Most Celebrated Painter of India :1848 - 1906, Classic Collection, Vol I & II. Bangalore, Parsram Mangharam, 2005; Raja Ravi Varma : Portrait of an Artist , The Diary of C. Raja Raja Varma/edited by Erwin Neumayer and Christine Schelberger. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2005; Divine Lithography, Enrico Castelli and Giovanni Aprile, New Delhi, Il Tamburo Parlante Documentation Centre and Ethnographic Museum, 2005; Raja Ravi Varmayum chitrkalayum, Kilimanoor Chandran, Department of Culturural Publications, Kerala Government,1999; Chithramezhuthu Koyithampuran ,P.N Narayana Pillai; Raja Ravi Varma, N. Balakrishnan Nair; and Photos of the Gods : The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India by Christopher Pinney. London, Reaktion Book, 2004.
There are also a number of Malayalam publications depicting his work such as Raja Ravi Varmayum chitrkalayum, Kilimanoor Chandran, Department of Culturural Publications, Kerala Government,1999; Chithramezhuthu Koyithampuran ,P.N Narayana Pillai; and Raja Ravi Varma, N. Balakrishnan Nair.
Awards / Achievement
Ravi Varma received the first prize at the Madras Painting Exhibition in 1873. The same year he received worldwide acclaim at Vienna in 1873.