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Ahalya, also known as Ahilya, is the wife of sage Gautama Maharishi, in Hindu mythology. The story goes that she was seduced by Indra, the King of Gods, and her husband became angry and cursed her to become a stone. She was given redepmtion and freed of this curse (shaap) by Lord Ram, which is the scene depicted in this artwork. This oleograph is signed by the artist, Raja Ravi Varma. There are small tears at the bottom on the left and right, otherwise the piece is in good condition.
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:||20" x 14"|
|Condition:||Small tears at bottom left and right|
|Signature:||Signed by Ravi Varma|
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