Adopted into the royal family from Mavelikkara in 1857, Lakshmi grew into the role of Senior Rani as wife to Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Tampuran. Proficient in Sanskrit and Malayalam, she was excellent in music and adept at playing the veena, She was known for her beauty as much for her sense of dressing.


  • Title: Senior Rani Lakshmi Bayi
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Creator Nationality: Indian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Creator Birth Place: Kilimanoor, Kerala
  • Date Created: 1870
  • Location Created: Travancore, India
  • Subject Keywords: Senor Rani, Travancore
  • Original Source: Private Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Depicted Location: Kerala
  • Depicted Person: Senior Rani Lakshmi Bayi
  • 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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