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When other kids were busy playing hopscotch with friends, seven-year-old Ravi Varma was painting on the walls of his house. Spotting his nephew’s artistic talent, his uncle Rajaraja Varma took him to the court of the Maharaja of Travancore to study and practice art. The rest, they say, is history.


Known as the father of modern Indian art, Raja Ravi Varma wowed the world with paintings that adapted European art techniques like realism to create an entirely local expression. It is his art that gives Hindu gods their most popular imagery, seen today in calendar art and posters. He also established the first lithographic press in India, which created prints of his mythology-inspired paintings, in particular scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. It was a big step towards making art affordable for everyone.


This magnificently illustrated biography will help young readers discover the life and works of Raja Ravi Varma, the artist who was born into royalty but earned the title of ‘Raja’ for his creativity on canvas.

Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma by Shobha Tharoor

  • Estimated delivery 2-3 weeks

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