homes were slowly inundated with colourful prints of deities and mythological figures — many of which could be traced back to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. Encouraged by the British to use western artistic techniques to reinterpret Indian mythology, Varma set in motion the creation of an Indian aesthetic that exists till date.
Varma was eager to paint from a young age, and his uncle encouraged this artistic inclination, persuading the Maharaja of Travancore to let him stay in the palace and learn from famous artists who visited the court.
Art historian Geeta Kapur describes Varma as both a traditionalist and modernist. He grew up studying Sanskrit and orthodox scriptures, but took pleasure in experimenting with European drawing styles, exploring realism and using his scientific knowledge of perspective in landscapes and portraits.
His work in realism began as a portrait artist of mostly aristocratic women. He then delved into mythological paintings inspired by Puranic texts, and later narrative paintings after being influenced by Parsi and Marathi theatre in Bombay.
Picture Credit : Google