Vishnu with Consorts - 02

by Raja Ravi Varma
(inclusive of taxes)

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Size: 20.75 x 14.75 inches (Framed)
Press: Ravi Varma Press, Karla-Lonavala
Condition: Small tears
Medium: Oleograph
Signature: Bottom Right
Year: 1930s


This is an oleograph of Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi on Garuda by Raja Ravi Varma, from the 1930s. Vishnu is seen here riding on his vahana (vehicle), the mythical bird Garuda. Garuda is generally known as a protector with power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent, represented here as a golden cobra clutched in his talons. The blue skinned Vishnu carries the disc (chakra) - symbol of speed of thought, and the conch (shankha) symbol of the five existential elements in his upper hands. In his lower hands he holds a lotus symbolizing purity and transcendence, and the gada (mace), a symbol of knowledge and power. His consorts wear red saris and hold chauris (fly whisks) in their outstretched arms.
The oleograph is signed at the bottom right by Ravi Varma. There are small tears on the centre left and bottom left, and a thinner, longer tear along the right egde of the artwork.
  • 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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