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August 08, 2016

View Never-Seen-Before Lithographs by Raja Ravi Varma

Text by Huzan Tata

Verve spotlights an exhibition that brings together Raja Ravi Varma’s best lithographs

Born into an aristocratic family in the former princely state of Travancore, he was exposed to the world of art from his early childhood, and even trained in oil painting under a Dutch portraitist. Soon enough, he became India’s foremost painter, introducing art to ‘ordinary’ homes. And now, viewers get the chance to experience a show which presents 131 never-seen-before lithographs by Raja Ravi Varma, one of the fathers of modern Indian art.

Apart from the painter’s prized artworks, curator Ganesh V. Shivaswamy will treat aficionados to paintings, press material, and personal effects rescued by conservator Vijaynath Shenoy — resulting in a whopping 262 exhibits. For those who’ve followed Varma’s works, they’ll be familiar with his vibrant recreations of images from epics and mythological works including the Mahabharata and the Puranas. “Today’s images of gods and mythological figures derive their origin from those on display in this exhibition,” says Shivaswamy. Adds Gitanjali Maini, CEO of The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, ‘Our show is a step towards preserving Varma’s vision of welcoming one and all to celebrate artistic excellence.’

Raja Ravi Varma — Royal Lithography and Legacy is on display at National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru until August 14, 2016.

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