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Depicting Sita lost in reverie in an ashram, Ravi Varma touches upon his favourite subject: the feminine form lost in thought. It could be missing a beloved, longing for a quick reunion or just being melancholic in loneliness. However, if it's Sita, then the presence of a sage, in the background, who appears to have arrived at the ashram, throws up several pointers: it could be that the artist is teasing the viewer with his version or it could be that he has juxtaposed some other character into this work. Broadly naming it vanvas (exile) gives a spin to the effect.

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  • Title: Sita Vanvas
  • Creator: Ravi Varma Press
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Location Created: Bengaluru, India
  • Physical Dimensions: 35 x 50 cm
  • Type: Reproduction
  • Rights: The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Labels and Inscriptions: Ravi Varma Press, Malavli, Lonavala
  • 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.

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