Ravi Varma Paintings missing from the hands of Irresponsible Kerala Govt.

published on June 29, 2009

Ravi Varma’s kin wants paintings back to rekindle his museum


T’PURAM: Strange as it may seem, the home museum of renowned painter Raja Ravi Varma at Kilimanoor Place near here does not have a single original of the maestro on display and his descendents want back some of his paintings currently with the state museum to rekindle its glorious past where he was born and learnt the art before attaining fame.

Pained by the absence of originals, descendants of the legendary artist have sought a probe to trace and restore some of the precious works of their illustrious relative to the gallery, which displayed only the prints of his paintings.

Ravi Varma, known for his vivid and graceful depiction of scenes from Hindu epics, was born in a royal house of Kilimanoor, some 30 km north of here, in 1848. A prolific artist, he left hundreds of oil paintings before he died on October 2,1906. Hundreds of paintings and sketches left by him are scattered in galleries and private collections in India.

The Palace Trust, which looks after the home museum, recently lodged a complaint with police, seeking a probe to trace some invaluable works of the artist, either missing or remaining unaccounted for having changed hands over the decades.

The family claims that as many as 75 paintings of the master were handed over by the Travancore Royal administration in 1940, which had been transferred to the Kerala Government after Independence.

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