One of the ten paintings that Ravi Varma sent to the International Columbian Exposition for art, craft and industry at Chicago in 1893-1894. Ravi Varma received two medals and many diplomas for exhibiting his work there. Also referred to as Poverty, this work expresses the harsh reality of India, the difficult life of the underprevileged who spend their lives under the hot, blinding sun, vulnerable to the elements, singing and begging for their sustenance. Exposed perennially to the harsh sun is perhaps why the gypsies are dark in colour, so different from the soft, light-skinned upper class beauties in other Ravi Varma paintings.


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