‘Swami Vishwamitra in Meditation’, Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma's painting sold for Rs 6.45 Crore
   20-Mar-2020

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‘Swami Vishwamitra in Meditation’, an untitled painting of renowned Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma was sold for Rs 6.45 crore (8.6 lakh USD).
 
The auction had once again pushed artist Raja Ravi Varma, known as ‘the father of Indian modern art’, into the international art domain after Sotheby’s auctioned the painting for a record price of $8.6 lakh.
 
“Sotheby’s had opened online bidding last month for an estimated price between $7 lakh and $ 9 lakh for this untitled painting ‘Swami Vishwamitra in Meditation’ that depicts the firebrand sage surrounded by a halo of rare calm composure. The bid closed two days ago after an unknown bidder bought the rare painting, originally part of a private collection of Fritz Schleicher, a German printer who had worked with Varma and later acquired by a private collector in Denmark,” reported the Times of India.
 
As per reports, this is the second-highest price that Varma’s paintings have fetched at Sotheby’s. In 2017, ‘Damayanti’, another masterpiece by Varma, the father of modern Indian art, was sold for $16.92 lakh.
 
“The price that the Vishwamitra painting has fetched exemplifies the international recognition and interest that Raja Ravi Varma’s works enjoy,” Sachin Kaluskar, an art connoisseur who has a rich collection of Varma’s oleographs, told the Times of India.
 
Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906), was closely related to the royal family of Travancore of present-day Kerala state in India. He is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art for a number of aesthetic and broader social reasons. Firstly, his works are held to be among the best examples of the fusion of European techniques with a purely Indian sensibility. His depictions of Hindu deities and episodes from the epics and Puranas have received profound acceptance from the public and are found, often as objects of worship, across the length and breadth of India.