Untitled Portrait

Mangala Bayi Thampuratti1990

Kerala Museum

Kerala Museum
Kochi, India

Mangala Bayi Thampuratti, who lived between 1865 and 1954, was the first woman artist of the 19th century to have worked in her own studio at the Kilimanoor Palace's Kochu Kottaram. She was taught to paint by her uncle Raja Raja Varma while her older brother Raja Ravi Varma often improved her skills. She was frequently asked to suggest improvements to his work too.

Mangala Bayi depicted domestic and devotional themes in her paintings. She was well-known for her portraits of women and children too. Though Mangala Bayi painted with equal proficiency as her brothers and in the same Western academic, artistic style, the social structures of the era prevented women from pursuing art as a profession, so she painted only as a 'hobby'.

Her works have, therefore, rarely been seen, remaining primarily in the homes of private collectors.


  • Title: Untitled Portrait
  • Creator: Mangala Bayi Thampuratti
  • Date Created: 1990
  • Location Created: Kerala
  • Physical Dimensions: 78 x 54 cm
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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