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Vishwamitra was a respected rishi, or sage in ancient India. Lord Indra, frightened by his powers, sent a beautiful celestial nymph named Menaka from heaven to earth, to lure him and break his meditation. Menaka successfully incited Vishwamitra, and Shakuntala, their daughter was born. In this scene, Raja Ravi Varma shows the moment when Vishwamitra rejects Menaka and the baby, because they remind him of his lapse in spiritual pursuits and his renunciation of domestic life.
This oleograph is from the 1930-40s and has a small tear on the top left side.
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.
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.
|Size:||19 x 14.5 inches|
|Condition:||Small tear on the top left side|
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