Rai Pannalal Mehta was the Dewan of Udaipur for 30 years and invited Ravi Varma and his brother C. Raja Raja Varma to Udaipur. Though the portrait was commenced during their stay, it could not be completed as they had head back home. Pannalal was photographed under the artist's directions and Ravi Varma also made a rapid oil sketch of the subject to record his likeness. While the original work is in the collection of the family, the sketch which was also duly completed currently hangs in the Sri Chitra Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram.


  • Title: Rai Pannalal Mehta
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Creator Death Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Creator Birth Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Date Created: 1901
  • Location Created: Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • Medium: Oil Paint
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Dimensions: 36 x 42
  • Collection: Private Collection
  • About the Artist: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), India’s foremost artist, who took art to the masses, hailed from Kilimanoor, in the erstwhile state of Travancore. From a very young age, Ravi Varma, was drawn towards art, imbibing techniques from his uncle and mentor Raja Raja Varma and his mother, Umayamba Bayi, a poet in her own right. Varma was much sought after by the Royals and owing to his popularity and reputation, his spectacular and richly-textured works were prolific. His realistic portrayals of contemporary figures and interpretations of religious and mythological figures fetched him instant and enduring success, lifting his standing in the art world. If the Royals and his countrymen were in awe of this great talent, the international world was spellbound by his imagination and creativity. He ensured that art would be accessible to all, through reproductions of his paintings which were made available, and affordable to everyone.

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