Google launches digital retrospective of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings on artist’s 172nd birth anniversary

The retrospective features over 700 images of his paintings prints, sketches and rare photographs

Google launches digital retrospective of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings on artist’s 172nd birth anniversary

New Delhi, April 29

To mark the 172nd birth anniversary of one of India’s foremost painters, Raja Ravi Varma, Google, on Wednesday, launched a digital retrospective of the artist’s paintings on its non-profit initiative Google arts and culture.

The retrospective, which features over 700 images of his paintings prints, sketches and rare photographs, has been unveiled in partnership with nine institutions, including The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi), and The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation and Museum of Art & Photography.

“Today, on the occasion of Raja Ravi Varma’s 172nd birth anniversary, Google Arts and Culture has rolled out a comprehensive digital retrospective of his paintings, prints, sketches and rare photographs. These are presented alongside works inspired by the artist — on canvas, textiles, as studio photography and even as matchbox art! It shines a spotlight on his work, and offers insights into his rich and varied life,” a statement from the Google Arts and Culture said.

Varma’s art stood out for his unique style where he fused European art’s technical and aesthetic knowledge with the emotional sensibilities and storytelling of the Indian art.

Some of his best known works are “The Begum's Bath”, “There comes Papa”, “Decking the Bride”, “Portrait of a Lady”, “Kadambari”, among many others.

The retrospective comprises more than 30 stories about the 18th century artist who gave a face to Indian gods and goddesses, including those on his early life and his journey to become the ‘father of modern Indian art’, the painting which started his official career, and how he kicked off a print movement of colour lithographs in India.

The digital exhibition also offers viewers a virtual tour of the Kilimanoor Palace in Kerala, where he was “born, raised and took his first steps with the brush”. PTI

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