Wednesday, December 16, 2009

രാജാരവിവര്‍മ

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RAJA RAVI VARMA
Raja Ravi Varma, (Malayalam: രാജാ രവി വര്‍മ ) (April 29, 1848- October 2, 1906) was an Indian painter from the princely state of Travancore who achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art.




Varma is most remembered for his paintings of beautiful sari-clad women, who were portrayed as shapely and graceful. His exposure in the west came when he won the first prize in the Vienna Art Exhibition in 1873. Raja Ravi Varma died in 1906 at the age of 58. He is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art.

Art career


Raja Ravi Varma received widespread acclaim after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna in 1873. He travelled throughout India in search of subjects. He often modeled Hindu Goddesses on South Indian women, whom he considered beautiful. Ravi Varma is particularly noted for his paintings depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and Nala and Damayanti, from the Mahabharata. Ravi Varma's representation of mythological characters has become a part of the Indian imagination of the epics. He is often criticized for being too showy and sentimental in his style. However his work remains very popular in India.



Title of Raja

In 1904 Viceroy Lord Curzon, on behalf of the King Emperor bestowed upon Raja Ravi Varma the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal. At this time his name was mentioned as "Raja Ravi Varma" for the first time, raising objections from Maharajah Moolam Thirunal of Travancore. Ravi Varma however defended the title stating that his ancestors had been the Rajahs of Beypore in Malabar and besides, as per the Marumakkathayam tradition, the name of the maternal uncle (Raja Raja Varma) was prefixed to the name. Thereafter he was always referred to as Raja Ravi Varma.



In 1993, art critic/conservator Rupika Chawla and artist A Ramachandran jointly curated a large exhibition of Ravi Varma's works at the National Museum, New Delhi. Considering his vast contribution to Indian art, the Government of Kerala has instituted an award called [[Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram]], which is awarded every year to people who show excellence in the field of art and culture. Awardees include:



K.G. Subramanian (2001)

M.V. Devan (2002)

A Ramachandran (2003)

Vasudevan Namboodiri (2004).

Kanai Kunhiraman (2005)

V.S. Valliathan[2006]

A college dedicated to fine arts was also constituted in his honour at Mavelikara, Kerala. The renewed interest in Ravi Varma has spilled into the area of popular culture as films and music videos have started using his images. Propaghandi, a popular Canadian band, has cited him as a major influence to their work. The lead singer of Propaghandi claims to have had sudden inspiration for the song "Gifts" while looking at Lady Giving Alms at the Temple.



 Personal life

Raja Ravi Varma was married to Pururuttathi Nal Bhageerathi Amma Thampuran (Kochu Pangi) of the Royal House of Mavelikara and they had two sons and two daughters. Their eldest son, Kerala Varma, born in 1876 went missing in 1912 and was never heard from again. Their second son was Rama Varma (b.1879), an artist who studied at the JJ School of Arts, Mumbai, married to Srimathi Gowri Kunjamma, sister of Dewan PGN Unnithan. Raja Ravi Varma's elder daughter, Ayilyam Nal Mahaprabha Thampuratti, appears in two of his prominent paintings and was mother of Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore. He had another daughter, Thiruvadira Nal Kochukunji Thampuratti, grandmother of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma Maharajah.



His descendants comprise the Mavelikara Royal house while two of his granddaughters, including the said Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, were adopted to the Travancore Royal Family, the cousin family of the Mavelikara House, to which lineage the present Travancore Maharajah Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma belongs. Well known among his descendants are writer Shreekumar Varma (Prince Punardam Thirunal), artists Rukmini Varma (Princess Bharani Thirunal) and Jay Varma, classical musician Aswathi Thirunal Rama Varma and others.



 List of major works

The following is a list of the prominent works of Ravi Varma.



Village Belle

Lady Lost in Thought

Damayanti Talking to a Swan

The Orchestra

Arjuna and Subhadra

Lady with lamp

The broken

Swarbat Player

Shakuntala

Lord Krishna as Ambassador

Jatayu, a bird devotee of Lord Rama is mauled by Ravana

Victory of Indrajit

A Family of Beggars

A Lady Playing Swarbat

Lady Giving Alms at the Temple

Lord Rama Conquers Varuna

Nair Woman

Romancing Couple

Draupadi Dreading to Meet Kichaka

Shantanu and Matsyagandha

Shakuntala Composing a Love Letter to King Dushyanta

Girl in Sage Kanwa's Hermitage (Rishi-Kanya)

Raja Ravi Varma


Raja Ravi Varma was born on 29th April 1848, in Kilimanoor, a small town of Kerala. He is known for his amazing paintings, which revolve mainly around the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Raja Ravi Varma is one of the few painters who have managed to accomplish a beautiful unison of the Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. He left for the holy abode on 2nd October 1906, leaving behind his legacy of amazing paintings. Raja Ravi Verma's paintings of beautiful sari clad women have also received recognition in the west. As we move on further, we will come across more information related to Raja Ravi Varma's biography and life history:



Life

Raja Ravi Varma was born to Umamba Thampuratti and Neelakandan Bhattathiripad in the royal palace of Kilimanoor. The inborn talent of the painter started showing at a very tender age. Recognizing the innate aptitude of their child, his parents sent him to study under the patronage of Ayilyam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore, when he was only 14 years old. He received tutelage, first, from the palace painter Rama Swamy Naidu and then, from Theodor Jenson, a British painter.



Raja Ravi Varma got married to Rani Bhageerathi Bayi (Kochu Panki Amma) of Mavelikara Royal House. He spent the later years of his life in Mysore, Baroda and a number of other cities in the country. This exposure helped him in broadening his outlook. At the same time, he was able to expand as well as sharpen his skills and evolve into a mature painter.



Professional Aspects

Raja Ravi Varma received systematic training, first in the traditional art of Thanjavoor and then, in the European art. He is credited with providing the critical link between Thanjavoor School and Western academic realism. His paintings can be classified into the following three categories:

Portraits

Portrait-based Compositions

Theatrical Compositions, based on myths and legends

It is the third category of paintings for which Raja Ravi Varma is the most renowned. He was continuously traveling through the length and breadth of India, in order to find subjects for his paintings. His love for the South Indian women is depicted through his works. In many of his paintings, he has modeled Hindu Goddesses on the women living in the southern parts of India. The most popular as well as impressive paintings of Raja Ravi Verma include the ones depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala and that of Nala and Damayanti.



At times, Raja Ravi Varma is criticized for being too showy in his paintings. His paintings are also condemned for overshadowing traditional Indian art forms, especially the ones depicting Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Raja Ravi Varma's approach is said to lack the dynamism of expression seen in the traditional paintings. Critics have also disapproved of his rejecting the traditional models of representation of deities and reducing them to the level of mortals.



Recognition

In recognition of the immense contribution of Raja Ravi Varma towards Indian art, the Government of Kerala has instituted an award in his name. Known as the 'Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram', the award is given to individuals who show considerable promise in the field of art and culture. There is a college in Mavelikara district of Kerala, established in the honor of Raja Ravi Verma. He also received international recognition in 1873, when he won the first prize for his paintings at the Vienna Art Exhibition.



Notable Works of Raja Ravi Varma

Given below is a comprehensive list of the prominent works of Raja Ravi Varma:

A Family of Beggars

A Lady Playing Swarbat

Arjuna and Subhadra

Damayanti Talking to a Swan

Draupadi Dreading to Meet Kichaka

Girl in Sage Kanwa's Hermitage (Rishi-Kanya)

Jatayu (a bird devotee of Lord Rama is mauled by Rawana)

Lady Giving Alms at the Temple

Lady Lost in Thought

Lady with Fruit

Lord Krishna as Ambassador

Lord Rama Conquers Varuna

Nair Woman

Romancing Couple

Shakuntala

Shakuntala Composing a Love Letter to King Dushyanta

Shantanu and Matsyagandha

Swarbat Player

The Heartbroken

The Orchestra

Victory of Indrajit