April 2006 - last updated March 2015

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.

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.
Jatayu attempting to save
Sita Devi from Ravana
Varuna pacifying Rama's
anger when the sea refused to
give way to reach Lanka

Meganathan, after his victory
over Indran presenting
Sacchi Devi to Ravana
King Harichandra in his vow to
speak only the truth losing his son

Mother & child
Mother & child

Bhishma abdicating his right to the throne,
in order to get the fisher girl married
to his father Shantanu
Krishna & Balarama freeing Vasudevar
& Devaki after killing Kamsan

Draupadi in the guise of Sairendri
being asked to go to Kichaka
by the queen, Virata's wife
Draupadi, in disguise carrying honey and
milk to the court of Keechaka

Lord Krishna as the envoy of the
Pandavas in the Kaurava court
Damayanthi sending a message
to Nala through a swan

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

Lady giving alms
Lady in the moonlight

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