Governor moots Bharat Ratna for Raja Ravi Varma

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan unveils ‘Parsi Lady’, the last unfinished work of Raja Ravi Varma after inaugurating the 175th birth anniversary of the legendary artist at the Kilimanoor palace in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Hailing Raja Ravi Varma as an artist who had raised India’s stature to the highest planes of artistic excellence, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said here on Saturday that the posthumous conferment of Bharat Ratna would be a befitting tribute to his genius.

Inaugurating the 175th birth anniversary of the legendary artist at the Kilimanoor palace near here, he said Raja Ravi Varma was both a traditionalist and modernist whose works were a suffusion of Western Avant- garde art and the cultural ethos of India. “His contributions stand apart, thanks to his vision of liberating the appreciation of art from its privileged confines and taking it to the people”.

“By setting up a press for mass distribution of pictures, he revolutionised people’s access to art, to the extent that many of his works became a part of household inventory”.

Mr.Khan said Ravi Varma’s repertoire was not only about mythology or portraiture of the aristocracy. “Many of his works like ‘The Gypsies of South India’ also known as ‘Poverty’ reflected great social sensitivity”.

He also lauded the efforts of the Kilimanoor palace to preserve Ravi Varma’s studio and his works.

The Governor later unveiled ‘Parsi Lady’, an unfinished painting by Ravi Varma that was restored by the palace. Another of his works, a portrait of Thriketta Thirunal Uma Amma Thampuratti, was also unveiled on the occasion.

Oscar award winner Resul Pookutty, Adoor Prakash. MP, president, Kilimanoor palace Trust K.Divakara Varma and general secretary K.R.Ramavarma Thampuran were among those present.


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