Ram Vanvas

Raja Ravi Varma1890

The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Setting off on their forest exile (vanvas), spanning 14 years, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana had to cross the Ganga river. There are many takes to this story, one of them being that the boatman, knowing the story of how Ahalya was transformed from a stone, was fearful that the Lord's feet would, on touching his boat would transform it into several women, given that the boat was made of several parts. He insisted that he would wash the lord's feet and asked him to place his first step on his palms before stepping on to the boat. The scene recreated here is the boat ride with Sita leaning on to Rama for support, wary of what the future holds for them as Lakshmana stands behind them stoically.

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  • Title: Ram Vanvas
  • Creator: Ravi Varma Press
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Location Created: The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Physical Dimensions: 50 x 71 cm
  • Type: Reproduction
  • Rights: The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Labels and Inscriptions: Ravi Varma Press
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • 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.