There Comes Papa depicts an aristocratic lady from the Malabar gesturing to her son the arrival of his father. The excited pet dog also looks towards the arriving 'Papa'. This is one of the ten paintings sent by Raja Ravi Varma to the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. Interestingly, this painting continues to remain in its' original frame with the notation on the frame as it would have appeared at the Chicago exposition. This painting was painted using a photograph in which Raja Ravi Varma's eldest daughter Mahaprabha (1872-1919) posed as the mother carrying her son, Marthanda Varma.


  • Title: There Comes Papa
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: 1893
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 125 x 81 cms
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Private Collection
  • Rights: Curatorial rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • 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.

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