by Raja Ravi Varma
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Size: 22 x 16 inches (Framed)
Medium: Oleograph
Condition: Crease on Left Side
Signature: Signed by Ravi Varma
Year: 1896


Vasantasena is the protagonist of a famous ancient Sanskrit play titled Mrcchakatika (The Little Clay Cart), written by Sudraka. Vasantasena is a rich courtesan of Ujjayini, who falls in love with a young and impoverished brahmin, Charudatta. Despite being married and having a son, Charudatta also falls in love with her because of her noble nature and beauty. In the play, Vasantasena is depicted as a bold and courageous woman who plays the dominant role in this love affair, a depiction that was rare in ancient Indian stories.
This oleograph depicting Vasantasena is from 1896, and is signed by the artist Raja Ravi Varma. There is a crease on the left side, but the artwork is in 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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