First true copy of Ravi Varma’s ‘Indulekha’ to be unveiled on Monday

On the occasion of the 176th birth anniversary celebrations of the artist

Updated - April 29, 2024 03:14 pm IST

Published - April 28, 2024 08:06 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The first true copy of the painting Indulekha by legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma will be unveiled at the Kilimanoor Palace, where the eminent artist was born in 1848, on the occasion of his 176th birth anniversary celebrations.

The unreleased painting of Indulekha, the protagonist of the first modern novel in Malayalam literature by O. Chandu Menon published in 1889, emerged in the public domain in 2022 and evoked a great sense of enthusiasm among the art fraternity. 

Rama Varma Thampuran, secretary of the Kilimanoor Palace Trust, which looks after the upkeep of the Chitrashala (studio) of the iconic artist at the palace, said the trust had initially planned to unveil the original painting on the occasion of his birth anniversary. However, taking note of the security aspects, the trust decided to unveil the lone true copy of the painting.

Sasikala Parakkal, who owns the painting, will unveil the copy at a function at the palace on Monday. It is believed that the famous painting ‘Reclining Lady’ by Ravi Varma was modelled on Indulekha.

Oil painting

The oil painting has Indulekha holding a letter addressing her lover Madhavan, the hero of the novel, as ‘Dear Madhavan ....’ dated 1892. The 19th century painting with an over-the-top sense of symmetry and keen attention to micro-details was recently restored by Madhan S. of the Heritage Conservation and Research Academy.

Apart from this painting, the portrait of a late member of the Kilimanoor palace Pooyam Thirunal C.R. Kerala Varma, by another member of the palace K. Ravi Varma, and paintings of C. Rajaraja Varma and Mangala Bayi, siblings of Raja Ravi Varma, by artist Suresh will be dedicated on the occasion.

The birth anniversary celebrations will be inaugurated by O.S. Ambika, MLA, in the morning, in which Divya S. Iyer, Managing Director of Vizhinjam International Seaport, would be the chief guest.

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