Untitled (Portrait of a Young Woman in Russet and Crimson Sari)

Raja Ravi VarmaCirca 1890

Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation
Bengaluru, India

Extremely rare and exceptionally prized, this luminous portrait of a fine-looking woman exudes the radiance and sensitive rendering for which the artist is known. This work is highly indicative of Varma's fascination with elaborate gold and silver jewellery inlaid with gems and semi-precious stones, elegant, traditional costumes and indigenous coiffures. The crimson and russet sari with a richly embroidered gold zari brocade blouse is well coordinated with her jewellery and the flowers in her hair.


  • Title: Untitled (Portrait of a Young Woman in Russet and Crimson Sari)
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Creator Nationality: Indian
  • Date Created: Circa 1890
  • Physical Dimensions: 48.3 x 32.4 cm
  • Provenance: Collection of Fritz Schleicher Thence by descent to Mrs. Lotti Schleicher Singh. Acquired by a private collector in Denmark.
  • Original Source: Private Collection
  • External Link: http://www.sothebys.com
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Labels and Inscriptions: Sotheby's New York
  • Collection: Property from a private American collection
  • 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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