Shakuntala Patralekhana

Raja Ravi Varma and Ravi Varma Press Malavli LonavalaCirca 1930

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation
Bengaluru, India

SHAKUNTALA PATRALEKHANA OR SHAKUNTALA WRITING HER LETTER OF LOVE: Shakuntala grows up in the hermitage of Kanva maharishi. While Kanva and the other elders of the hermitage are away on a pilgrimage, Dushyanta, the king of Hastinapura comes hunting in the forest and chances upon the hermitage. He is captivated by Shakuntala, courts her in royal style, and marries her. He then has to leave to take care of affairs in the capital. The lovelorn Shakuntala writes to Dushyanta besieging his return to her.

This print from the Ravi Varma Press derived from a painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicts Shakuntala writing her letter of love on a lotus leaf. She is lying on the forest floor and is lost in love as her companions Anusuya and Priyamvada look on.


  • Title: Shakuntala Patralekhana
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma, Ravi Varma Press Malavli Lonavala
  • Date Created: Circa 1930
  • Location Created: Malavli Lonavala
  • Physical Dimensions: 50 x 70 cms
  • Provenance: The Hemamalini and Ganesh Shivaswamy collection, Bengaluru
  • Subject Keywords: Raja Ravi Varma, Shakuntala, Gigapixel
  • Type: Chromolithograph
  • Rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru
  • 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.

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps