Thursday, June 19, 2008

Raja Ravi Varma - Part 2

I had written once about Raja Ravi Varma (or also spelled as Verma) before this. I believe that I had not shared the important informations as I'm being googled constantly for him! .

Raja Ravi Varma is a excellent painter, who provided inspiration for many artists during the 19th century. Believe me or not, his talent is purely gifted as he did not undergo training in any art school. He developed his art mainly by his constant practice. Remember how the saying goes, Practice makes perfect! We had someone whom had proved the sayings.

Raja Ravi Varma became popular for his clear presentation of subjects from Ramayana and Mahabharata and stories about gods and heroes. His imaginations create charming figures and scenes like real life with skill and imagination won him recognition in India and also from abroad. Remember all the paintings with the lively eyes, those eyes he painted could speak words. I certainly wish that I could be blessed to admire the beauty of his paintings in person.

Raja Ravi Varma was born on 29th April 1848 in a royal family at Kilimanoor, Travancore (now part of Kerala State in South India). He started drawing in the age of six. He was trained by his uncle, and also guided by a British painter (to learn oil paintings), Theodore Jenson. He married Poororuttati Nal at the age of 17 and settled down in Mavelikara.

Raja Ravi Varma met various artists and studied other styles and the schools of paintings in India, He visited Hindu Pilgrim centers and studied ancient Hindu costumes in detail. He decorated the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara (Baroda) with a series of Puranic Paintings.

His knowledge of Sanskrit and acquaintance with forms of beauty helped him to create paintings that were rich in mythological subject. The mythic stories often only describe the characters, but Raja Ravi Varma who was very good in imaginations creates and bring to live the characters by drawing it out. He won quite a few gold medals for some of his paintings.

There came a time when his paintings became popular. Several thousands of his paintings were printed. Through his paintings he brought the gods, goddesses and heroes- Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Sita, Damayanti- to the Hindu Homes.

Raja Ravi Varma passed away at the age of 58 (2nd October 1906) in attingal near Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). At the time of his death, he was busy painting the Mysore Khedda (capturing wild elephants) operations.

The world most expensive Saree!

Ever seen a Rs40 lakh (US $100,000) silk saree???

The exceptionally stunning saree is meticulously woven with 12 precious stones and metals to depict 11 of Raja Ravi Varma's popular paintings. Explicitly projected is 'Lady Musicians', one of the painter's very famous works that displays women belonging to diverse cultural backgrounds.

Besides, the border of the saree pictures 10 other paintings of the artist that pays tribute to 20th century artist. The best part of the saree being that the women in the paintings are intricately hand-woven and beautified with jewels of gold, diamond, platinum, silver, ruby, emerald, yellow sapphire, sapphire, cat's eye, topaz, pearl and corals.

Already in the Limca Book of Records, this 40 lakh saree will be the first silk saree that required the use of 7,440 jacquard hooks and 66,794 cards during the weaving process. Moreover, it took nearly 4,680 hours for a group of consummate workers to complete the work.

Take a look at it!

The painting of 'Lady Musicians' by Raja Ravi Varma.

The 40 Lakh Saree - take a look at the paintings that are meticulously woven in the saree!

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