Raja Ravi Varma: The Pioneer Of Indian Modern Art

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Raja ravi varma

The Father Of Indian Art, Raja Ravi Varma attained fame and recognition for portraying scenes from the Hindu epics the Mahabharata and Ramayana. He was known for pricing his intricate and world-renowned artistic pieces extremely low so that all classes of the society could afford them. He managed to accomplish a beautiful unison of the Indian traditions with the techniques of European modern art which made his paintings a sight to behold.


  • He was born on April 29, 1848, in Kilimanoor, Travancore and passed away on October 2, 1906, in Attingal at the age of 58.
  • While being a young boy, he used to draw on the walls of his home with pictures of animals, acts and scenes from his daily life using the paints made from natural ingredients like flowers, leaves, tree bark, etc.
  • He unveiled his painting skills on the walls of the Kilimanoor palace using charcoal at the young age of 7. His paintings were so loved that the Kilimanoor Palace in Kerala was forced to put up a post office to settle with the countless painting requests that they got.
  • Was credited with being the first artist to cast Indian Gods and mythological characters in natural earthy surroundings using a European realism. His oil paintings of India’s ancient glory created through oleograph became very popular among masses.
  • He was the first painter to visualize Gods and Goddesses in a human form and also got in trouble after he painted semi-nude paintings of goddesses. However, he stayed true to his work and never changed his style.
  • In 1873. He became internationally renowned after in 1873 he won at the Vienna Exhibition.  The Government of Kerala has instituted an award in his name known as the ‘Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram’.
  • Four movies have been made on the life of Raja Ravi Varma with ‘Rang Rasiya’ starring Randeep Hooda as the lead being the latest one.

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