Raja Ravi Varma: An Everlasting Imprint

2024-04-25 15:34:21

Ganesh Shivaswamy, Shilpa Vijayakrishnan

Raja Ravi Varma: An Everlasting Imprint


April 12, 2023    
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Mazumdar-Shaw Auditorium, Museum of Art & Photography
22 Kasturba Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560001
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The Brave Kusumavati by Raja Ravi Varma, 1896, Image courtesy: Ganesh Shivaswamy

Join us for the Bengaluru launch of the first volume of Raja Ravi Varma: An Everlasting Imprint, a six-volume book series exploring the social, religious, and aesthetic impact of the Ravi Varma Press. The author, Ganesh Shivaswamy, is a lawyer and collector of chromolithographs from the press. 

The first volume of the series focuses on the life of Raja Ravi Varma and the inspiration behind his paintings. Future volumes, yet-to-release, explore further prints produced by his press and the influence they had upon the popular imagination of people. 

Experience the rich legacy of Raja Ravi Varma’s work in the context of a rapidly transforming India, through this illustrated talk, culled from the book and followed by a conversation with MAP’s Shilpa Vijayakrishnan. 

Ganesh Shivaswamy

Lawyer and Collector

A lawyer from Bengaluru, Ganesh Shivaswamy has taken up the task of structuring the artistic legacy of Raja Ravi Varma in addition to his proffesion.

The interest commenced with his collecting the chromolithographs from the Ravi Varma Press when he was merely 13 years of age. He now has a substantial collection of the prints from the Press. In 2006, he commemorated the centennial death anniversary of the artist by creating the first online catalogue of prints from the Press. In 2016, he curated an exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) titled Royal Lithography and Legacy which was the most comprehensive display of chromolithographs from the Ravi Varma Press.

In 2019, he established the Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, which immediately thereafter partnered with Google Arts and Culture to showcase the chromolithographs from his collection. He has delivered several talks across India and was also appointed the honorary curator of the new wing of the Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram which is specifically dedicated to the works of Ravi Varma and associated artists in 2021.

Shilpa Vijayakrishnan

Head of Education & Outreach, MAP

Shilpa Vijayakrishnan has led the Education & Outreach Department at MAP since its conception, during the course of which she has curated over five exhibitions specially designed for younger audiences, as well as conceptualised and facilitated a range of programmes for schools, children and adults. Former editor of the Tasveer Journal, her articles have been published in publications including the eponymous print edition of the Tasveer Journal, Maharanis: Royal Women of IndiaGardens of the Mind: Swapak Nayak and Gilles Bensimon and Figures in Time: Bourne & Shepherd. She holds a postgraduate degree in Arts & Aesthetics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and has curated online narratives for MAP on the Google Arts & Culture platform on a range of subjects including Women in Hindi Cinema and the Pichwai painting tradition, among others.

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