About the artist:
Raja Ravi Varma was a celebrated Indian artist and is considered amongst the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. His works are a great example of the fusion of European academic art with a purely Indian sensibility and iconography. Ravi Varma was notable for making affordable lithographs of his paintings available to the public, which greatly enhanced his reach and influence as a painter and public figure. His lithographs increased the involvement of common people with fine arts. Furthermore, his religious depictions of Hindu deities and works from Indian epic poetry and Puranas received profound acclaim.
The European and Indian art lovers admired his technique, the common population of India enjoyed his work for its simplicity; soon Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings with their portrayal of Hindu gods and goddesses along with other illustrious subjects went on to become worship material for many people belonging to the lower castes. Back then, these people were often forbidden from entering temples and thus they celebrated Varma's work, for it gave them an idea of how the deities looked inside the temple. His affordable lithographs, which were accessible to the lower strata of society too, made him a household name and Raja Ravi Varma soon captured the hearts of all.
The artist was closely related to the royal family of Travancore of present-day Kerala state in India.
Later in his life, in recognition of his talent and oeuvre, Viceroy Lord Curzon honoured him with the Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal for his service in the furtherance of public interest.