Museum for paintings by Raja Ravi Varma to open on September 25

Built for Rs 7.9 crore, the two-storey, state-of-the-art complex will feature 136 paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, besides paintings by his brother and one of the paintings by his sister.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:   Over 100 creations of Raja Ravi Varma will get a new abode on September 25, when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurates a dedicated art gallery for the renowned painter’s works on the Museum’s premises in Thiruvananthapuram.

Built for Rs 7.9 crore, the two-storey, state-of-the-art complex will feature 136 paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, besides paintings by his brother C Raja Raja Varma and one of the paintings by his sister Mangala Bayi Thampuratti. The inauguration will be held on noon.

“Setting up a museum exclusively for Raja Ravi Varma had been our dream for 40 years. Two to three foundation stone laying ceremonies were held in the past. This gallery was completed in three years after the CM laid its foundation stone in November 2020,” S Abu, director, Department of Museums and Zoos, told TNIE.

He said the museum, which is also referred to as art gallery, will house rare sketches of Raja Ravi Varma as well as chromolithographs that were brought from Mumbai. At present, 143 paintings by Raja Ravi Varma are being kept in a congested space at Sree Chithra Art Gallery. Opened in 1935 by Sree Chithira Thirunal, the then Maharaja of Travancore, Sree Chithra Art Gallery also has works of Russian painters Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich, as well as exquisite works from the Mughal, Rajput, and Tanjore schools of art.

The rates of tickets for the new gallery are yet to be finalised as some minor works remain. The museum will also have on display the certificates that Raja Ravi Varma received from Chicago and Vienna in 1893 for his works sent from Kilimanoor Palace. A lab to conserve the paintings, akin to the facilities at international museums, is already operational near the upcoming complex.

museum for paintings by raja ravi varma to open on september 25

Museum for paintings by Raja Ravi Varma to open on September 25

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