Raja Ravi varma's paintings

Raja Ravi varma (1848 - 1906) is famous for his paintings based on Indian mythology & epics.  He was was born in Kilimanoor Palace as the son of Umamba Thampuratti and Neelakandan Bhattathiripad.  Even at the young age his talent was spotted by his uncle Raja Raja Varma, (Ravi Varma used to draw on the walls) and gave him initial training in painting. Later he learnt water colour painting from the palace artist Rama Swamy Naidu.  He learnt oil painting from the British artist Theodor Jenson.

Paintings of Raja Ravi varma's

Towards the end of the 19th century, when there was a lack of vitality in Indian painting, he was one of the few artists who re-introduced Indian subjects in his works. Raja Ravi Varma is often criticised for the fact that his paintings overshadowed the traditional art forms because of their widespread reproduction as oleographs, flooding the society with his form of myth, portrayed with static realism (Dasgupta).

By dispensing with abstraction in favour of stiff academicism, Ravi Varma can be considered as having in one stroke undermined the traditional art, which was both dynamic and rich in form and content. One can find an illustration of this argument in the figures of Durga in West Bengal or in the folk form of Madhubani Paintings.

In comparison, Ravi Varma's approach clearly lacks this dynamism of expression. Moreover, his approach of frontality has severe limitations in terms of space and movement. By rejecting the traditional models of representation (for example, Chitrasutra is the treatise on art outlined in Vishnudharmottara Purana), he has reduced myth to the level of ordinary humans, a form that has been copied in all depictions of myth on other mediums such as cinema and television (Dasgupta). Dadasaheb Phalke, considered the father of Indian cinema, is thought to have been influenced by Ravi Varma's static realism (Dasgupta).
King Harichandra

King Harichandra in his vow to
speak only the truth losing his son

Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

H.H. Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar


Jatayu attempting to save Sita Devi from Ravana


Bhishma abdicating his right to the throne


Draupadi in the guise of Sairendri being asked to go to Kichaka by the queen, Virata's wife


Shakuntala writing a love letter to Dushyantan on a lotus leaf with her nail


Draupadi, in disguise carrying honey and milk to the court of Keechaka

Krishna & Balarama

Krishna & Balarama freeing Vasudevar & Devaki after killing Kamsan


Meganathan, after his victory over Indran presenting Sacchi Devi to Ravana

Rama's anger

Varuna pacifying Rama's anger when the sea refused to give way to reach Lanka


Damayanthi sending a message to Nala through a swan

Lady in the moonlight

Lady in the moonlight waiting for someone

Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna as the envoy of the Pandavas in the Kaurava court

Lady giving alms

Lady giving alms

Malabar Lady

Malabar Lady

A lady carrying a lamp

A lady carrying a lamp

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