Arjuna, in the midst of a self-imposed exile, owing to breaking the terms of agreement over spending time with Draupadi with his four brothers, goes to Dwaraka to be with Lord Krishna. Seeing the lord's beautiful sister Subhadra, Arjuna is smitten and wants to marry her. Disguising as a hermit, Arjuna abducts Subhadra and marries her, the scene of this work. It is believed that Arjuna does so at the behest of Krishna as Balarama wants to give her away in marriage to Duryodhana, his favourite pupil. Arjuna's abduction of Subhadra, however, angers Balarama and others but Krishna intervenes and advises them against targeting Arjuna. They relent and agree to Arjuna's wish. Abhimanyu, the warrior son born to Arjuna and Subhadra, would later go on to become one of the key characters in the epic battle of Mahabharata.


  • Title: Arjuna Subhadra
  • Creator: Ravi Varma Press
  • Creator Death Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Creator Birth Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Physical Dimensions: 35 x 50 cm
  • Type: Reproduction
  • Original Source: From the Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
  • Rights: Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Art Form: Print
  • Labels and Inscriptions: Ravi Varma Press, Malavli, Lonavala
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Collection: Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • About the Artist: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), India’s foremost artist, who took art to the masses, hailed from Kilimanoor, in the erstwhile state of Travancore. From a very young age, Ravi Varma, was drawn towards art, imbibing techniques from his uncle and mentor Raja Raja Varma and his mother, Umayamba Bayi, a poet in her own right. Varma was much sought after by the Royals and owing to his popularity and reputation, his spectacular and richly-textured works were prolific. His realistic portrayals of contemporary figures and interpretations of religious and mythological figures fetched him instant and enduring success, lifting his standing in the art world. If the Royals and his countrymen were in awe of this great talent, the international world was spellbound by his imagination and creativity. He ensured that art would be accessible to all, through reproductions of his paintings which were made available, and affordable to everyone.

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