Rang Rasiya: Delhi’s tryst with Raja Ravi Varma’s colours

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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The soon-to-be-released movie, Rang Rasiya, on the life and works of Indian art icon Raja Ravi Varma by Ketan Mehta, has brought the focus back on figurative and realistic art – at least in the Capital.

Krishna – A Romantic Fantasy in Peacock Forest, a solo exhibition of 21 figurative paintings by Delhi-based artist Raghu Vyas belonging to the Raja Ravi Varma school of realism, will try to capture the essence of Varma’s “Indian themes”.

The exhibition, to be hosted by Ragini Arts, will open at the India Habitat Centre on January 28 following a preview on January 17.

“I have always been inspired by Raja Ravi Varma’s school of realism. He is the icon of Indian art and the movie Rang Rasiya, whose release will more or less coincide with my show, will send a definite message to the country that Raja Ravi Varma’s figurative art is on the high screen. It marks the revival of Indian realism and figurative art,” Vyas told IANS.

Vyas likes to describe his art as “imaginary realism”. “It is realistic and figurative, but born out of my imagination,” he said.

The theme is Lord Krishna and the “bhav” is the feminine aspect of the lord. “I have used peacock as the central motif and peacock feathers in the background because peacock was a sakhi (female companion) of the deity,” said the artist, a Krishna devotee.

Vyas has used the European Renaissance technique to layer his canvases with colours and “the light of imagination to conceive his themes”.

Born in Basholi, a small town in Jammu and Kashmir, Vyas has been influenced by the Pahadi miniature paintings.


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