Ravana has abducted Seeta and is carrying her off to Lanka. As he travels towards his kingdom, the good vulture Jatayu notices the abduction and tries to stop Ravana. The powerful bird thwarts Ravana who raises to the challenge. In this painting Raja Ravi Varma captures the moment of aerial combat between Ravana lops off Jatayu's wing. Seeta cringes at the sight of Jatayu being dismembered and covers her eyes in fright.


  • Title: Jatayu Vadh
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: 1895
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 73 x 55 cms
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Rights: Curatorial rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Creator's Biography: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was a prolific Indian artist who is recognized for his resorting to the academic realistic style of painting. His portraits of English and Indian royalty and aristocracy were well received. His paintings on Hindu religious and mythological subjects and paintings from classical and literary sources were highly sought after even during his lifetime. He painted several copies of his works and this demand led to the suggestion to have his paintings printed in the form of oleographs. The Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) and commenced operations in 1894. Many of Ravi Varma's paintings were printed as chromolithographs at this Press. These chromolithographs would have a tremendous impact on religion, society and aesthetics. They went on to democratize art leading to immortalize Ravi Varma in the minds of the people of the Indian subcontinent.

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