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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.

H.H. Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

A lady carrying a lamp

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

Malabar Lady

Lady giving alms

Lady in the moonlight

Related Links
The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Prints available at

Paintings - Links to the various sections


Display of art works
Folk / Regional / Traditional Paintings

Contemporary Artists

Traditional / Art and Craft / Cartoons