This painting of Radha is conceivably one of the most beautiful of Raja Ravi Varma’s uttama nayikas, the high minded women of many virtues and qualities that are intrinsic to goddesses and women in classical Indian literature. Radha radiates the soft beauty, intelligence and sensitivity of the uttama nayika, and being Radha of unparalleled beauty, Raja Ravi Varma has painted her with extra care and refinement. Aware of Krishna’s godly qualities Radha has the pooja thali, the platter of flowers and sweetmeats near her, the ritual of worship and adulation to be completed before the love play starts. Human and godly loves are combined in this relationship. She sits at ease on the rocks near the glimmering water and perhaps she has just espied him emerging through the trees.


  • Title: Radha in the Moonlight
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 146 x 105.4 cms
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Pundole's, Mumbai.
  • External Link: Raja Ravi Varma
  • 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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