Sita Vanvas - 02

by Raja Ravi Varma
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Size: 22.5 x 17 inches (Framed)
Press: Ravi Varma Press, Karla-Lonavala
Condition: Very Good
Medium: Oleograph
Signature: Bottom Right
Year: 1920s/30s


This is an oleograph of “Sita Vanvas” (Sita in Exile) by Ravi Varma from the 1920s/30s. Sita is the heroine of the epic, Ramayana. In seven books, the story narrates the exile of Rama to the forest with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman, the subsequent abduction of Sita by Ravana (the demon-king of Lanka) and the rescue of Sita with the help of Sugriva - the king of the monkey tribe, and his minister Hanuman. After a fierce battle the city of Lanka was taken, Ravana was defeated and killed, and Sita was rescued. Rama returned and was crowned to begin his glorious reign of Ayodhya. This picture represents the time after their return to Ayodhya when Rama sends Sita into the forest (a second exile) near sage Valmiki's ashram, because the people of Ayodhya were questioning her purity after being captured by Ravana for so long. Years later, Sita returns to the womb of her mother Bhoomi (the earth) for a release from a cruel world, after she reunites her two sons Kusha and Lava with their father Rama.
  • ABOUT Raja Ravi Varma

    Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was a celebrated Indian artist, famous for his realistic portrayal of Indian gods, goddesses and mythological characters, in scenes adapted mainly from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranas.

    Considered to be one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art, Ravi Varma fused European techniques with a pure Indian sensibility. Though a protégé of royalty, Raja Ravi Varma was the first to make prints (or lithographs) of his artworks affordable and easily available, bringing fine art to the masses. In fact, the Raja Ravi Varma Press was started in Mumbai by him in 1894, and managed by his brother Raja Varma, before being bought over by a German company. 

    An original 1890 Ravi Varma oil on canvas, titled 'Radha In The Moonlight' was sold for a whopping Rs. 20 crores at a Pundole auction in November 2016.

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  • ABOUT Oleographs

    Oleographs, also called chromolithographs, are multi-colour art prints, stemming from the process of lithography. Pioneered in the 1830s, the process of producing oleographs came into wide commercial use in the 1860s. The technique relied on using several woodblocks or stones with colours for printing, while hand-colouring remained an important aspect as well. Depending on the number of colours present, an oleograph could take months to produce by very skilled workers. Poor preservation and cheaper printing alternatives have made oleographs hard to find. Today, they are mainly used as fine art.

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