This oil painting portrays Shakuntala in a melancholic state, thinking and longing for her beloved, King Dushyant. As the mythological narrative goes, Shakuntala fails to see the arrival of a hermit (in the background), presumably sage Durvasa, who in a fit of anger at being slighted, curses Shakuntala that whoever she is thinking of would forget her altogether. Hence the title for the painting as she faces an impeding calamity.


  • Title: Shakuntala's Impending Calamity
  • 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: 1890
  • Location: India
  • Location Created: India
  • Original Source: Government Museum, Chennai, India
  • Medium: Oil Paint
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29, 1906-10-02
  • Collection: Government Museum, Chennai, India
  • 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.

Get the app

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

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps