Shakuntala Sakhi

by Raja Ravi Varma
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Size: 21 x 15 inches (Framed)
Medium: Oleograph
Condition: Excellent Condition
Signature: Signed by Ravi Varma


Shakuntala is a character from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. She is born to Maharishi Vishwamitra and the apsara Menaka, but grows up in sage Kanva's ashram. The rishi found her in a forest amidst singing birds called shakunta, and hence named her Shakuntala. Later, Shakuntala became the wife of King Dushyanta, and was the mother of Emperor Bharata. In this artwork, Shakuntala is portrayed in her youth with her sakhis (companions), Anusuya and Priyamvada.
The oleograph is by Raja Ravi Varma and carries his signature. It is in excellent condition.
  • 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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