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Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was among the first Indian painters to successfully adapt academic realism to the visual interpretation of Indian mythology and adopt Western painting techniques of portraiture. His genre of paintings, which eventually led to chromolithographs (oleographs), has maintained a lasting effect on the Indian sensibility, making him the best-known classical painter of modern times. This book is an account of Ravi Varma's traditional background and environment in the context of colonial India, and the relationship of this milieu with his profession as an aristocratic itinerant painter. Many royal families of India and several rich and powerful personalities were patrons of Ravi Varma, whose portraits he painted in large numbers.
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Rupika Chawla is a conservator of paintings who has restored several Ravi Varma art works. She is also a curator, and imparts training in conservation. She has written extensively on contemporary Indian art.Review:
"Rupika Chawla's lavishly produced book is not a heavy academic tome. In style and substance, it is hugely engaging, carrying its scholarship with a remarkable lightness of grace. -- India Today "... rich in information and there are many insights awaiting the careful reader." -- The Hindu"
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