Known for his paintings that revolve around Indian mythology and epics, Raja Ravi Varma is the greatest known artist in the history of Indian art. Raja Ravi Varma was born to Neelakanthan Bhattatiripadand Umayamba Thampuratty in the royal palace of Kilimanoor on April 29, 1848. Recognizing the innate aptitude of their child, his parents sent him to study under the patronage of Ayilyam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore, when he was only 14 years old.
Starting the career at a young age, Ravivarma’s paintings bagged laurels from around the world. His paintings can be classified into portraits, portrait-based compositions and theatrical compositions based on myths and legends. The most popular of Raja Ravi Varma that falls under this category include the ones depicting episodes from the story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala and that of Nala and Damayanti. The ones from the Hindu epic Ramayana include Lord Rama’s triumph over Varuna and Ravana’s expression of arrogance while clipping one of the wings of Jatayu.
He died on October 2, 1906.