Designing the Gods
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The walls are resplendent with Varma's depiction of episodes from mythology and the deities who once graced calenders. There is Lakshmi standing on a lotus flower, with the river flowing under her feet. Krishna is Sri Venu Gopal with a flute, mesmerising the gopis. Vishnu appears on the mythical bird Garuda, flanked by his two wives Rudra and Sukeerthi. Shiv is on the Kailash mountains with Parvati and Ganesha on his lap, and the bull Nandi completes the picture. "The works are of historical significance. He is one of the first Indian contemporary artists who was responsible for taking art to homes through his oleographs. Aesthetically too, Varma defined how Indian gods and goddesses were pictured," says Nath.
Procured from collections world over, Nath is particular about the prints he acquires. "The print strip at the bottom is a must, it has its own charm," he says. None of the prints have been under a restorer's brush. "One tends to lose the patina during restoration," he reasons. The collection is not complete yet though, Nath notes that there are several other rare Ravi Varma works he hopes to get hold of.
The exhibition at Ojas Art, 1A, Qutab Minar, Mehrauli Road, is on till February 28. Contact: 23413136
Varma in the Auction Circuit
In August 2012, an untitled lithograph sold at Pundole's auction for Rs 3,80,000.
At the Sotheby's New York September 2011 auction an Untitled (Himalayan Beauty) oil on canvas sold for US $2,66,500.
A 1904 oil on canvas "Full length portrait of a boy" came under the hammer at the Gorringes auction for £10,000 pounds in March 2011.
Varma's untitled portrait of a Parsee lady sold for US $1,04,500 at Sotheby's New York 2008 auction.
In October 2007, Bonhams sold a Raja Ravi Varma oil on canvas for £6,02,400.
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