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Vaman Avatar

Raja Ravi Varma

The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Lord Vishnu as a young Brahmin, or vatu. Bali, Prahalad’s grandson, although good and virtuous, has all the worlds in existence, and so the devas are in subjugation to him. Lord Vishnu takes it upon himself to restore the old order. As the Brahmin lad, he asks Bali for land, as much as he can cover in three strides.
Bali agrees and the lad immediately turns into a giant whose first stride spans the earth and whose second encompasses the entire heavens including the Brahmaloka, the loftiest plane of existence. Bali removes his crown and asks the boy to place his third stride onto his head, which will restore power to the devas in the old order. This Vishnu avatar is also called Trivikrama. This lithograph’s painting exemplar was the subject of Lot 43 in Bowring’s auction on 20th November 2002.

S. K. Ramachandra Rao Pratima Kosha vol. 6 pg.105

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Details

  • Title: Vaman Avatar
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Physical Dimensions: 25 x 35 cms
  • Provenance: From the collection of Hemamalini and Ganesh Shivaswamy, Bengaluru
  • Type: Lithograph
  • Rights: The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Medium: Lithograph
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • About the Artist: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was an Indian artist hailing from Kilimanoor in the present state of Kerala. In a brief lifespan, Varma’s output was prolific and richly textured. His realistically-detailed portrayals of contemporary figures and interpretations of religious and mythological figures enlightened and fascinated an international audience as much as they did his countrymen. He was visionary in other ways as well: he made art more accessible, by printing his paintings in lithographs and his technique and approaches built a bridge of mutual respect and understanding between India and the West.

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