Krishna Shishtai - 03

by Raja Ravi Varma
(inclusive of taxes)

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Size: 22 x 16 inches (Framed)
Condition: Fading of colour; good condition
Medium: Oleograph
Signature: Bottom Left
Year: 1906


This is an oleograph of "Krishna Shishtai" by Raja Ravi Varma. In the Mahabharata, before the battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas began, Krishna made one last attempt to stop the war from taking place. He visited Hastinapur upon the request of Yudhishthira (the eldest son of King Pandu), to talk to the Kauravas and explain the futility of war. When he reached the court of the Kauravas as an envoy, their king, Duryodhana, treated Krishna with contempt, and his men attempted to take Krishna captive. An ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, Satyaki, whipped out his sword in the Lord's defence. Krishna immediately put out his hand to stop Satyaki. He then proceeded to reveal his Vishwaroopam, or divinity, to everyone present in the court. This scene is one of the most important moments in Mahabharata, captured beautifully by Raja Ravi Varma.
The signature of Ravi Varma is on the bottom left, along with year 1906. There is fading of colour due to passage of time, but the artwork is in very good condition otherwise.
  • 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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