Friday, April 29, 2011
"Rang Rasiya": Remembering Raja Ravi Varma
On this very day, in the year 1848, Raja Ravi Varma - the ace painter - was born.
He hailed from the Indian princely state of Travancore, and achieved enormous fame for his depiction of the scenes from the Indian epics.
Despite the typical Hindu ethos, he used a proficient blending of traditional Indian art form and the European academic painting techniques.
He received widespread acclaim after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna, in 1873. He died in 1906 at the age of 58, and his life and art has been the subject of many a discourse and critique.
However, what brought me closer to his art was the Ketan Mehta film 'Rang Rasiya', that was loosely based on the painter's life, and the relationship he had with his muse.
The role of Raja Ravi Varma was essayed by Randeep Hooda, and Nandana Sen played his muse.
I couldn't resist the temptation of sharing the stills from the film (all the pics are from the Ketan Mehta film - no copyright infringement intended - which sadly a few have been able to see till date, even though the film was toasted at major film festivals, because of the nudity issues and claims counter-claims on authentic portrayals. Just like the populist paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, the film too deserves to be seen by the masses, the prudish behavior of a small minority notwithstanding.