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Biography Of Raja Ravi Varma (Indian Painter)/ Indian Painter Biography/ Raja Ravi Varma


Let us introduce you to the journey of life of that great artist.

Ravi Varma was born on 29 April 1848. In the village of Killimnur, Kerala. His family belonged to the royal family of Travancore.


Since childhood, Ravi Varma was very fond of painting . He used to paint the walls of his houses with coal. Fortunately, because of his painting on the wall with coal. His uncle got Ravi Varma to recognize his art and brought him with him to the royal court of Thiruvananthapuram. where he was given his initial education in the arts.

Ravi Varma Journey

In the palace of King Ayilyam Thirunal, Ravi Varma saw pictures of various types of Indian and Western civilizations. Seeing these paintings, he saw a depth in European paintings which he also wanted to incorporate in his painting.

Ravi Varma Painting’s

In fact, Raja Ravi Varma has made pictures of all the major deities of Indian religion with utmost artistry, beauty, sweetness and grace.

Unique examples of his unique painting skills are Vishwamitra, Maneka’s paintings, Harishchandra, Shri Krishna, Balarama, Mohini, Rukmagandha and Dushyanta-Shakuntala etc.

When the exhibition of his paintings was put up in 1893. only the wealthy had the right to see that picture exhibition.

Later, when the painting reached the general public, then people got an opportunity to get acquainted with his wonderful painting.

Raja Ravi Varma holds his unique place among the painters . India because the techniques of his art have the uniqueness of unmatched coordination of ancient and European art styles.

He became popular in the Indian general public. He made such pictures of Hindu deities in a very beautiful and natural posture, which seem to be very alive and full of faith. The beautiful form of oil paintings is found in his painting.


Ayilyam Thirunal, the then Maharaja of Travancore, patronized Raja Ravi Varma, after which his formal training began.

In Madurai he learned the basics of painting. Later Rama Swami Naidu trained him in water painting and Dutch painter Theodor Jensen in oil painting.

British administrator Edgar Thurston played an important role in furthering the careers of Raja Ravi Varma and his brother. In 1878, his paintings were exhibited at an exhibition in Vienna, where he also received an award, after which his name became more popular. Varma’s paintings were also sent to the ‘World’s Columbian Exposition’ held in Chicago in 1893 where he received three gold medals.

He traveled all over the country in search of subjects for painting. They often depicted images of Hindu goddesses on beautiful South Indian women.

Raja Ravi Varma also painted important stories of Mahabharata such as ‘Dushyanta and Shakuntala’ and ‘Nal and Damayanti’.

He gave an important place to Hindu mythological characters in his paintings.

Critics of Raja Ravi Varma consider his style too pretentious and emotional, but his works are very popular in India. Many of his paintings are preserved in the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Baroda.

His well-organized art education contributed significantly to the success of Raja Ravi Varma.

First he received training in the traditional Thanjavur art style followed by the study of European art and technique. The art works of Raja Ravi Varma can be divided into three major categories:

Father of Modern Indian Painting

The credit for giving birth to modern Indian painting goes to Raja Ravi Varma. The influence of western color is clearly visible in his art.

He had mastered the traditional Thanjavur art and European art by thoroughly studying it. He gave a new dimension to painting by breaking out of the boundaries of Indian traditions.

Of course, the basis of his paintings were characters from Indian mythology, but his expression through colors and shapes remains relevant today.

He accepted openness at a time when it was hard to even think about it. Raja Ravi Varma not only imbibed this ideology, but also engraved it through colors on his canvases.

This was the reason that his works were refused to be accepted by the eminent painters of that time.

Still he did not give up the effort and later the same painters had to accept his talent. He never stopped experimenting in his painting and always tried to do something unique and new.

Interesting fact

In October 2007, a historical artwork made by him, which depicts the meeting of a high official of the British Raj and the Maharaja during the British Raj in India, has sold for $1.24 million (about 60 million). The painting depicts the Maharaja of Travancore and his brother, the Governor General of Madras, Richard


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