Another love story bordering on a tragic, abrupt end. The beautiful celestial apsara Urvashi is sent down from the heavens and King Pururavas falls in love with her. She agrees to his proposal of marriage on the condition that he never neglects her pet goats and secondly, will never present himself naked before her. Urvashi tells him that if he disobeys the two conditions at any time, she would go away.
Pururavas remains rooted in love and stays true, causing dismay to the Devas, who want Urvashi back in their abode. Some of them come down stealthily at night and steal the goats; hearing the animals' cry, Urvashi chides Pururavas for letting them go unattended. Rushing out to rescue to them, the King is caught unawares as a flash of lightning reveals his naked self. With the second condition also broken, albeit unwittingly, Urvashi flies away to the heavens even as a dispirited Pururavas desperately tries to stop her departure.


  • Title: Urvashi
  • Creator: Ravi Varma Press
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Physical Dimensions: 35 x 50 cm
  • Type: Reproduction
  • Original Source: From the Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
  • Rights: Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Art Form: Print
  • Labels and Inscriptions: Ravi Varma Press, Karla, Lonavla
  • 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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