Sita Vanvas

by Raja Ravi Varma
(inclusive of taxes)


Size: 21.5 x 15.5 inches (Framed)
Medium: Oleograph
Condition: Small tears and frame damage
Signature: Signed by Ravi Varma


Sita is the consort of Lord Ram. When her husband was banished from the kingdom of Ayodhya, she accompanied him to the forest. Here, she was abducted by Ravana and taken back to his kingdom in Lanka, where she was kept a prisoner in his palace. Sita was finally rescued by Ram, who waged a war against Ravana. Upon rescue, she had to go through trial by fire (agni pariksha), to prove her chastity. Upon return to the Kingdom of Ayodhya though, many people questioned Sita's purity, since she had spent so much time in the company of Ravana. And while Ram never personally doubted Sita, he sent her into exile, or vanvas, a second time. Sita was pregnant at the time, and was given refuge under sage Valmiki. Sita delivered her twin sons, Lava and Kusha in exile.
This oleograph, signed by the artist Raja Ravi Varma, portrays Sita during the vanvas. There are small tears on the top right of the print, and some damage to the frame at the bottom. The print measures 20" x 14", and 21.5" x 15.5" with the frame.
  • 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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