Madri or the Maharashtrian Lady with Fruit

Raja Ravi Varma

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation
Bengaluru, India

This painting by Raja Ravi Varma of a lady in a red saree carrying a tray of fruit formed the exemplar for printing a chromolithograph titled 'Madri' from the Ravi Varma Press. In Chapter 13 of the Adi-Parva of the Mahabharata, Madri is described as a very beautiful woman of dark form and draped in crimson silk.


  • Title: Madri or the Maharashtrian Lady with Fruit
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 71 x 50 cms
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Private Collection
  • 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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