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Raja Ravi Varma

Ravi Varma may well be considered the foremost modern Indian artist. Living at a time when India and it’s people were changing in many ways, Varma participated and contributed to the alteration of the Indian aesthetic. Not only was he a highly sought-after portrait artist, painting for the many royal families across India but his depictions of scenes from the Indian epics and puranas also found favour among his patrons.

The establishment of the Ravi Varma Press which commenced functioning in 1894 went on to make the artist a household name. The chromolithographs from the Press took art from the privileged domain of patrons to the household of the common man. The artist and the Press together would leave an indelible mark in the perception of religions imagery and societal aesthetics among the people of the Indian sub-continent and beyond.

Raja Ravi Varma
The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation & Raja Ravi Varma

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation was established by a lawyer from Bangalore. Ganesh Shivaswamy started collecting the chromolithographs from the Ravi Varma Press as early as in the 1990’s and now has a collection which is considered one of the most comprehensive in that field. To commemorate the artist’s centennial death anniversary in 2006, he authored the first online catalogue of prints from the Press which were derived from paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.

The Foundation was established in 2019 and ever since then has worked on several projects associated with the artist and the Press.

The work of the Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation in curating the legacy of the artist and the Press is unique in that it is headed by a person not engaged in commercial aspects of art. This distance is exceedingly important especially when dealing with academic aspects of the legacy.

Our work on Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma Draupadi at the Court of Virat

Curating the Sree Chitra Art Gallery at Thiruvananthapuram

Raja Ravi Varma Kizhakke Palat Krishna Menon

Celebrating 150 years since the commencement of Raja Ravi Varma’s professional Career

Raja Ravi Varma Birth of Shakuntala

Commemorating 125 years of the start of the Ravi Varma Press

Raja Ravi Varma Lakshmi

Lectures and Symposia

Studio of Ravi Varma Coquette

Academic writing and contributions

Raja Ravi Varma Khedda 1906

Commemorating the centennial death anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma

Launch of Google Arts & Culture

Her Highness Shubhangini Raje Rajmata Ji of Baroda inaugurates the Google Arts & Culture platform of the Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation at the Maharaja Fatesingh Museum, Vadodara
Google Arts and Culture Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation

Chromolithographs from the Ravi Varma Press