Art alert: Botanical elements in the paintings by Raja Ravi Varma will be explained at this weekend event
The Father of Modern Indian Art, Raja Ravi Varma has always been known for his life-like paintings. His paintings were more than just beautiful creations and evoked memories of the lives of the royalty from erstwhile the kingdom of Mysore. However, apart from the human subjects, Varma's botanical elements have drawn the attention of artists, researchers and art critics.
So to commemorate his 171st birth anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma, The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation has created an educational presentation titled ‘Encounters With The Botanical’ as seen through the art of Raja Ravi Varma.
God is in the details
The project will be launched on April 28 in collaboration with National Gallery for Modern Art, Bengaluru. A video presentation on the topic will be followed by a lecture by renowned historian and writer Rupika Chawla, who authored ‘Raja Ravi Varma: Painter of Colonial India’, that is till date considered the most extensive and comprehensive guide to the artist’s life and work.
To commemorate the occasion, the Foundation, along with its associates and partners, have produced a 13-minute fascinating video presentation identifying various botanical elements in 33 paintings by the artist, identifying their species, highlighting relevant botanical specifications, and also explaining in detail the content in which each plant, flower, tree, vegetable or fruit has been incorporated into the painting.
“Each time we study a work by Ravi Varma we see something new in it. The artist did not paint anything by chance. His works are detailed, planned and executed with the highest level of precision. Every flower and tree that you see in his work, possibly reflects the region he was in when it was painted. Every scene that he painted in a forest had meaning and understanding to it. Apart from being a great artist, Varma was also an eminent scholar who relished reading scriptures, texts and epics. Each of his canvasses has relevance to a story, even if it is not immediately relevant to the viewer. One needs to understand his psyche before analysing his work. The results are often astounding,” explains Gitanjali Maini, Managing Trustee & CEO of The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation.
Back end team
The research for this project has been planned and executed by Geetanjali Sachdev, Dean, Postgraduate Program and the School for Continuing, Open and Professional Education, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, along with Gitanjali Maini, Managing Trustee & CEO, The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation.
Along with the 13-minute video presentation, the Foundation has also published a 100-page manual that contains all relevant information to the botanical elements identified in his work. This information has been vetted and verified by a team of reputed scientists and botanists from across the country. It has taken the Foundation and its associates 10 months to work on this project and arrive at the relevant findings and conclusions.
The programme takes place at the Auditorium, National Gallery For Modern Art, Bengaluru on April 28, 4 pm