The Art of Rukmini Varma, Princess of Travancore

M G SinghStarred Page By M G Singh, 3rd Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/o927ti1u/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Artists

Rukmini varma is a famous painter who has specialized in painting nudes from Hindu Mythology

Background


I have always been fond of painting and when I was in school my art teacher felt I had talent, but my old man was dead set against painting as he felt a painter cannot make two ends meet so my painting ambitions got a quiet burial. My love for art however remained and last year I met the foremost India modern painter Rani Rukmini in Bangalore. She was born in 1940

Rukmini Varma

Rani Rukmini ‘s title is Her Highness Bharani Tirunal Rukmini Bayi Tampuran, Fourth Princess of Travancore. She hails from a dynasty that traces its lineage back to 1200 years. She is the grand daughter of the father of Modern art Raja Ravi Varma. She has blazed a new trail and now is settled in Bangalore, living almost like a recluse. Her paintings particularly of the female body have however adorned museums and homes all over the world.

Rukmini started painting at a young age and after 1947 she began to develop her art. In-between she took up dance, but gave it up as it was felt that a Royal princess should not dance. She reverted back to painting

Exhibitions and International exposure

Rukmini returned to painting for the simple reason that she loved to paint. She painted with vigor and by 1970 she had completed her first series of oil paintings, which were exhibited in Bangalore to positive reviews. Her second exhibition in 1973 saw 34 of the 39 paintings displayed being sold in a matter of days.

In 1976, upon invitation, Rukmini embarked on her first major international exhibition at India House in London, which was opened by Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. He was impressed with her and asked she would paint his prtrait in India attire, but he died ina bomb blast.

Exhibitions and Eroticism

She exhibited paintings at Bonn, Cologne, and Neuenahr in Germany, along with invitations fromParis, Zurich, Madrid, and Rome. Her paintings of “flesh and gems” which had voluptuous nudes in mythological settings were a hit. She believed in celebration of the human, particularly female body..


Rukmini blazed a trail in India by painting characters from Hindu Mythology in the nude. Swami Chinmayananda advised her not to paint Hindu Mythological characters in the nude, but she rejected his advice..
She wrote: . I am certain …to paint flesh as flesh is, without restrictions…’ Rukmini painted nudes from her ‘Pratiksha’ series was quietly sold into private collections in India and abroad, and was not exhibited anywhere so as not to provoke orthodoxy.

Last word

For the last 18 years Rukmini is living at Bangalore. She spends her time paining and at 73 remains a beautiful woman. She remains India’s foremost painter of mythological nudes of women. This shows her courage and genius.

Nb All photos from Wiki free licence

Tags

Art, Nudes, Rukmini Varma

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar joyalariwo
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Its obvious from her bio that Rukmini is one strong woman, who wasn't scared to rattle some cages.

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author avatar M G Singh
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Thanks joyalariwo

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

great piece and marvellous pictures...well done Madan...kudos to you

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Rukmini has great lineage and is bold for standing up to her convictions. Well deserved accolade for her talents, thanks Madan - siva

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author avatar Lady Aiyannna
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Well exploitation of the female anatomy is just the way trade is in today's world. Art is the unexplained desires from within expressed on canvas. Naked women are also seen in temples and other Hindu deities. Its commonalities that Indian men are never satiated because of religious blind beliefs and its also the place where the Kama Sutra originated to the world.
She is a great artist none the less although I am not appreciative of her exploiting the women in front of male folk which is quite radical in the regular Indian outlook.
Although many like it for their inner personal satiation and unexplained perversion.

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author avatar Priya Sharma
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

I wholly agree with you. Also it is certain that people do it for money and easy fame. Had she not been painting nude women, she would not have been getting these compliments. And she knows it.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Great post Madan. Thank you.

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author avatar Pollyal
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

She sure sounds like a very strong woman :) great article

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

Some may see her as selling sex, but I see power in the lines of her form. I see her daring the observer to see a damsel in distress or a wanton wench, and instead feel she compels people to see the strength of woman and goddess. Well presented, Madan.

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author avatar M G Singh
8th Jun 2014 (#)

Thank you Phyl for a very balanced comment

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author avatar Retired
4th Jun 2014 (#)

Nice post.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Jun 2014 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
8th Jun 2014 (#)

A great read.Thanks for the share.

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author avatar Malik
9th Sep 2015 (#)

Hi

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author avatar Sun
29th Mar 2016 (#)

I think it is cheap way of marketing oneself. There are so many who have better subjects and do better job than create ripples and ride the tides.

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