Chances are that almost every home in India has a reproduction of a Raja Ravi Varma painting, whether it is Saraswati in a white-and-gold silk sari with her veena and peacock at her side or the famous oil on canvas of Lakshmi in a bright vermillion sari. While the original paintings are owned by art connoisseurs and those who can afford it, Jaypore, an online portal for exquisite artisanal products ranging from apparel to jewellery and Indian art to home décor, introduces a collection of canvas prints of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings and coasters and magnets that feature prints of the artist’s work created during his stay at the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara. The Museum has also come on onboard exclusively with Jaypore.com, to showcase their Raja Ravi Varma collection
This collection has been specially commissioned by the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum to allow people to have access to Indian art history, says Manika Dhama, chief storyteller at Jaypore.com. “The museum is part of the palace built by the Gaekwads of Baroda. In the 1880s, Ravi Varma was invited to paint the portrait of Sayajirao III and a special studio was set up. A lot of Ravi Varma’s work was created during that time with patronage from the family,” she says. The canvas prints come with a certificate of authentication from the museum and gives the buyer details like the name and method of painting.
Apart from canvas prints, there are cushions, coasters, magnets, trays, envelopes and mugs that are part of the collection. “This is for people who appreciate art but cannot afford it; it will be like owning a part of art history,” Manika says, adding, “There is also a booklet of Raja Ravi Varma’s oleographs from the collection of the Gaekwad family. This is a holistic collection.” Jaypore recently started contemporary art as a separate category in addition to folk art. “We’ve always been promoting folk art — Madhubani, Gond and Pattachitra.
The website also recently showcased the limited edition M.F. Husain signed serigraphs (ongoing). It’s an endeavour to increase art awareness.” Jaypore’s collection of Kerala murals, says Manika, received enormous feedback from customers, but “shipping and packaging art are very challenging and we’ve been able to figure out how best to overcome it.”
The Raja Ravi Varma collection is on till April 21. Canvas prints are priced at Rs. 12,650 and home decor products are priced between Rs. 590 (for mugs) and Rs. 6900 (for trays). Details: jaypore.com