This is a painting by Raja Ravi Varma of Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran, the consort of Maharani Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore. He was also called the Kerala Kalidasa for his Malayalam translations of the works of Kalidasa. One of the translations is Mayura-Sandesham. It was Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran who gifted Raja Ravi Varma his first box of colours.


  • Title: Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 137 x 106 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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