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Chitralekha sitting with Sakhis Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma

Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma Unveiling the Inspiring Journey of Indian Art’s Democratization

Krishna playing flute in the forest Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma, a pioneer in Indian art, revolutionized the accessibility of art through his oleographs. These vibrant prints allowed the masses to own and appreciate fine art, breaking the barriers that once restricted art to the elite. Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma, depicting mythological and historical themes, brought iconic figures like Saraswati, Mohini, Shakunthalasakhi, Dattatray, Gajalakshmi, Radha Vilas, Raas Vilas, Ganapati, Sita Swayamvar, Vishwamitra and Menaka, Major of Mysore, Chitralekha, Shri Ram Janm, and Kailash Shankara into the homes of many.

At Beyond Square, you can find these stunning oleographs and more, ensuring you own a piece of India’s rich artistic heritage. Beyond Square is renowned for offering high-quality, authentic oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma, making it the best place to purchase these timeless masterpieces. Dive into the world of oleographs and experience the democratization of art that Varma so brilliantly championed.

The Birth of Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma’s journey into the world of art began in the royal courts of Kerala, where his natural talent for painting was nurtured and honed. His work was characterized by a unique blend of Indian themes and European techniques, particularly in the use of perspective, realism, and the play of light and shadow. However, it was his foray into oleography that truly set him apart.

Oleographs, also known as chromolithographs, are multi-colored prints produced using a method where each color is applied using separate stones. This technique allowed for the mass production of images that retained much of the original artwork’s vibrancy and detail. Varma recognized the potential of this medium to reach a wider audience and embarked on a journey that would forever change the landscape of Indian art.

The Process and Innovation

The process of creating Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma involved meticulous attention to detail. Varma would first create an original painting, often depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, Indian epics, and classical literature. These paintings would then be transferred onto lithographic stones, with each stone representing a different color. Skilled artisans would carefully align and print each color layer, resulting in a final image that was rich in detail and color fidelity.

This innovation was not merely technical but also cultural. By choosing themes that resonated deeply with the Indian populace—such as scenes from the Mahabharata, and Ramayana, and depictions of gods and goddesses—Varma ensured that his oleographs would find a place in the hearts and homes of many.

Democratizing Art Through Oleographs

Before the advent of oleographs, art in India was predominantly confined to the elite and the temples. Fine art was a luxury that only the affluent could afford, and religious imagery was largely accessible only within sacred spaces. Varma’s oleographs broke these barriers, bringing art into the everyday lives of people across various strata of society.

The mass production of these prints meant that even those with modest means could afford to own a piece of art. This democratization of art had a profound impact on Indian society. It not only made art more accessible but also fostered a sense of cultural pride and identity. People could now have depictions of their beloved deities and mythological heroes in their homes, creating a personal connection to their heritage and traditions.

The Cultural Impact of Raja Ravi Varma’s Oleographs

The cultural impact of Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma cannot be overstated. His work played a crucial role in shaping the visual representation of Indian mythology and religious iconography. Before Varma, depictions of deities and mythological figures were largely stylized and symbolic. Varma’s realistic portrayals brought these figures to life, giving them human emotions and characteristics that people could relate to.

This transformation had a lasting influence on Indian art and popular culture. Raja Ravi Varma paintings became the definitive visual references for many mythological characters. His images of Krishna, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and other deities have become iconic, influencing how these figures are represented in various media, from calendar art to films and television.

Sita Vanvas poignant scene Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma epic journey.

Beyond Square: The Best Place to Buy Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma

For those looking to own a piece of this rich cultural heritage, Beyond Square stands out as the best place to buy Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma. Beyond Square is renowned for its extensive collection of Varma’s oleographs, offering both original prints and high-quality reproductions. Their commitment to preserving the authenticity and quality of these prints ensures that each piece you purchase is a true reflection of Varma’s artistic vision.

Beyond Square goes beyond mere commerce; it is a haven for art enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate Varma’s work’s historical and cultural significance. They offer a curated selection of oleographs, each accompanied by detailed information about the artwork, its context, and its significance. This approach not only helps preserve Raja Ravi Varma’s legacy but also educates and informs buyers about the rich history behind each piece.

The Legacy of Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma’s legacy extends far beyond his lifetime. His pioneering efforts in making art accessible to the masses have left an indelible mark on Indian culture. By bringing mythological and religious art into people’s homes, Varma played a crucial role in the visual education of generations. His work continues to inspire artists, filmmakers, and storytellers, ensuring that his influence endures.

Varma’s oleographs also paved the way for the commercialization of art in India. The success of his prints demonstrated the viability of art as a business, leading to the establishment of numerous printing presses and studios dedicated to producing similar works. This commercialization, while often critiqued, also contributed to the broader dissemination of Indian art and culture, both domestically and internationally.

The Artistic Brilliance of Raja Ravi Varma

The brilliance of Raja Ravi Varma lies in his ability to blend traditional Indian themes with Western artistic techniques. His mastery over light, shade, and perspective brought a new dimension to Indian art. Varma’s oleographs are characterized by their attention to detail, lifelike representations, and vibrant colors, all of which contribute to their enduring appeal.

One of the hallmarks of Varma’s work is his portrayal of women. His depictions of female figures are celebrated for their grace, beauty, and strength. Varma’s heroines, whether divine or mortal, are imbued with a sense of dignity and individuality that was revolutionary for his time. This progressive portrayal of women resonated deeply with the public and continues to be one of the defining features of his legacy.

Collecting Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma

For art collectors and enthusiasts, owning Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma is not just about possessing a piece of art; it’s about owning a piece of history. These prints are a testament to a pivotal moment in Indian art, where tradition met modernity, and art became a tool for cultural dissemination.

Beyond Square offers an unparalleled selection of Varma’s oleographs, making it the ideal destination for collectors. Each piece is meticulously vetted for quality and authenticity, ensuring that buyers receive only the best. Additionally, Beyond Square provides a wealth of information about each artwork, helping collectors understand and appreciate the historical and cultural context of their acquisitions.


In conclusion, Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma have played a crucial role in democratizing Indian art, making it accessible and beloved by people from all walks of life. His innovative use of oleography allowed for the mass production of stunning, detailed prints that brought mythological and religious art into everyday homes. Today, the legacy of Raja Ravi Varma’s oleographs endures, with pieces like Saraswati, Mohini, Gajalakshmi, Radha Vilas, Raas Vilas, Ganapati, Sita Swayamvar, Vishwamitra and Menaka, Major of Mysore, Chitralekha, Shri Ram Janm, and Kailash Shankara still enchanting art lovers worldwide.

For those looking to purchase these magnificent prints, Beyond Square is the best place to buy Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma. Beyond Square provides an extensive collection of authentic oleographs, ensuring you can find the perfect piece to add to your collection or home decor. Embrace the opportunity to own a piece of history and celebrate the artistic brilliance of Raja Ravi Varma through these timeless works.

Lord Kartikeya majestic pose Oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma divine hero.

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