Early life of Raja Ravi Varma
Raja Ravi Varma was born on April 29th, 1848 in Kilimanoor Palace in Kerala. Raja Ravi Varma was brought up in an environment of art and culture. At the age of seven he started painting the figures of animals, acts and scenes from daily life on the wall with charcoal. Raja Ravi Varma's uncle Raja Varma started giving lessons of paintings to little Ravi seeing his keen interest for art.
When Raja Ravi Varma was around 14 years of age, he was sent to Thiruvananthapuram to stay at the Moodath Madam house of the Kilimanoor Palace, where he was taught water painting by the palace painter Rama Swamy Naidu. After three years, Theodor Jenson, a British painter taught him oil painting. He was exposed to the famous paintings of Italian painters. Here he was using indigenous paints made from leaves, flowers.
Career of Raja Ravi Varma
It was at Kilimanoor Palace where his talent was promoted and nurtured by Ayilyam Thirunal at the age of 7. He selected the original paints made from leaves, flowers, tree bark and soil in its place of using the conventional paints. Ramaswamy Naicker who was a famous oil painter of that time, had declined to teach Ravi Varma the art of oil painting. He painted a number of portraits of significant Indian aristocracy and British officials from 1870 to 1878 and added much status for himself as a portrait painter.
Year 1873 marked the beginning of a flourishing era in the career of Raja Ravi Varma and he won the first prize at the Madras Painting exhibition. The British commissioner Edgar Thurston was an important person who promoted the career of Raja Ravi Varma. Raja Ravi Varma had received well-known applause after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna in 1873 and his paintings were also sent to the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 and he was awarded three gold medals.
He travelled all over India in search of subjects. He often replicated Hindu Goddesses on South Indian women, whom he considered gorgeous. Ravi Varma is chiefly famous for his paintings portraying episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and Nala and Damayanti, from the Mahabharata. Ravi Varma's depiction of mythological characters has become a part of the Indian thoughts of the epics. Many of his fabulous paintings are housed at Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara.
Awards and Achievements of Raja Ravi Varma
Raja Ravi Varma won a number of awards and these are as follows:
Notable Works of Raja Ravi Varma Given below are the famous works of Raja Ravi Varma:
Personal Life and death of Raja Ravi Varma
He married Pururuttathi Nal Bhageerathi and had five children. He died on October 5, 1906 in the village of Kilimanoor in Travancore. He was 58 at the moment of his death.