Raja Ravi Varma life and biography

Raja Ravi Varma  picture, image, poster

Raja Ravi Varma biography

Date of birth : 1848-04-29
Date of death : 1906-10-02
Birthplace : Kilimanoor, Travancore
Nationality : Indian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-11-03
Credited as : Painter, Shakuntala, Shantanu and Matsyagandha

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Raja Ravi Varma is considered as one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian Arts. He is famous for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Raja Ravi Varma is most remembered for his paintings of beautiful sari clad women, who were portrayed as very shapely and graceful. He is considered as modern among traditionalists and a rationalist among moderns.

Raja Ravi Varma was born on April 29, 1848 in the royal palace of Kilimanoor, 25 miles from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India. His parents were Umamba Thampuratti and Neelakandan Bhattathiripad. At the age of seven years he started drawing on the palace walls using charcoal. His uncle Raja Raja Varma noticed the talent of Ravi Verma and gave him preliminary lessons in painting. At the age of 14, Ayilyam Thirunal Maharaja took him to Travancore Palace and he was taught water painting by the palace painter Rama Swamy Naidu. He was later given lessons in oil painting by a British painter, Theodor Jenson.

In 1873, Ravi Varma won the first prize at the Madras Painting Exhibition. He achieved worldwide acclaim after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna in 1873. He traveled throughout India in search of subjects. He often modeled Hindu Goddesses on South Indian women, whom he considered beautiful. He stayed in the city of Bombay in Maharashtra for some years and drew many a beautiful Maharashtrian woman.

Ravi Varma is particularly noted for his paintings depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and Nala and Damayanti, from the Mahabharata. Raja Ravi Varma was fascinated by the power and forceful expression of European paintings, which came across to him as strikingly contrasting to stylized Indian artwork. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. .

Some of the famous paintings of Raja Ravi Varma are:

* Lady Lost in Thought
* Damayanti Talking to a Swan
* The Orchestra
* Arjuna and Subhadra
* Lady with Fruit
* The Heartbroken
* Swarbat Player
* Shakuntala
* Lord Krishna as Ambassador
* Jatayu, a bird devotee of Lord Rama is mauled by Rawana
* Victory of Meghanada
* A Family of Beggars
* A Lady Playing Swarbat
* Lady Giving Alms at the Temple
* Lord Rama Conquers Varuna
* Romancing Couple
* Draupadi Dreading to Meet Kichaka
* Shantanu and Matsyagandha
* Shakuntala Composing a Love Letter to King Dushyanta
* Girl in Sage Kanwa's Hermitage

Raja Ravi Varma died on October 2, 1906.

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