Vishnu on Garuda with Consorts

by Raja Ravi Varma
(inclusive of taxes)

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Size: 32.6 x 24.8 inches (Framed)
Press: Ravi Varma Press, Malavli-Lonavla
Period: circa 1920
Medium: Oleograph
Signature: Bottom Right


Vishnu means ‘All Pervader’, or taking many forms. He is one of the most important Hindu deities along with Shiva and Brahma. He is the sustainer of the universe and sometimes descends to earth assuming various forms (avataras) to redress the balance between good and evil, and hence is known as the Preserver. He is seen here riding on his vahana (vehicle), the mythical bird Garuda with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side. The blue skinned Vishnu is bare chested but wears a number of necklaces and has a floral garland hanging from his neck. He carries two of his usual attributes, the disc (chakra) and conch (sankha) in his hands. His consorts both bejewelled wear saris and hold chauris (fly whisks) in their outstretched arms. All three figures wear conical crowns. Garuda is depicted mid-flight carrying the trio and holding a golden cobra firmly within its talons.
This large oleograph is by Raja Ravi Varma and carries his signature on the bottom right. It was published in circa 1920, at the Ravi Varma Press in Malavli, Lonavla. The size of the oleograph is 27.5 x 19.5 inches. With the frame, it measures 32.6 x 24.8 inches.
  • 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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