Lady Playing Swarbat

Sekhara Warrier1890

Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation
Bengaluru, India

In true style of a disciple following his master's footsteps, this painting by Sekhara Warrier has a striking similarity to Ravi Varma's works of a similar nature. Ravi Varma painted many portraits of women, especially with musical instruments of varying nature. Warrier, who was highly talented, shows his expertise in this work of a lady, possibly of noble lineage, playing the swarbat, an instrument which Ravi Varma had used in one of his works. Warrier's attention to detail is remarkable: the jewellery, the other adornments and even down to the red bindi, is an absolute tribute to Ravi Varma's style.


  • Title: Lady Playing Swarbat
  • Creator: Sekhara Warrier
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Location Created: Travancore, India
  • Subject Keywords: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Original Source: Private Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • About the Artist: Sekhara Warrier is the most enigmatic of Ravi Varma’s contemporaries. There are no accurate records of his year of birth or death, so one does not have accurate information about the age of the artist or how old he actually was when he met Ravi Varma. He was from an old Warrier family in Kilimanoor. Warriers were a temple-service community, typically involved in making garlands and in the management of temples. His family was ostensbily connected to Raja Ravi Varma's family, in that his father was a Koil Tampuran of Kilimanoor.

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