Saraswati - V

by Raja Ravi Varma
(inclusive of taxes)


Size: 31.5 x 23.5 inches (Framed)
Medium: Oleograph (Decorated)
Condition: Good Condition
Signature: Signed by Ravi Varma
Year: 1894


Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music, and the arts. She is often depicted with four hands instead of two, holding a Veena (musical instrument) along with a Japamala (prayer beads). Her mount, the peacock is seated beside her. The artwork has been dressed with sequins, zari fabric and beads, increasing the beauty of the deity.
This is a large oleograph and this size is unusual and hard to find, making it a prized collectible. It is from 1894, and has been signed by the artist, Raja Ravi Varma.
  • 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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