People need to be credited for their contribution: Ganesh Shivaswamy

People need to be credited for their contribution: Ganesh Shivaswamy

Being a fifth-generation lawyer, Ganesh found his admiration and passion for art and chromolithography as a teen.

CHENNAI: Apparao Galleries is organising ‘Music and Dance in the Raja Ravi Varma Oeuvre’, a talk by Bengaluru-based lawyer and art aficionado Ganesh Shivaswamy, on December 28. The talk aims to explore a new narrative in the paintings and also give due credit and appreciation to the characters that inspired the art.

Being a fifth-generation lawyer, Ganesh found his admiration and passion for art and chromolithography as a teen. Having begun collecting at a young age, he now has a vast collection of chromolithographs by Raja Ravi Varma. Wanting to turn his knowledge on the subject into a book, Ganesh began researching Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings in 2018 and found that the legendary painter had made several references and was missed by many modern scholars.

“In late 2018, when I started this research for the book, I discovered that there was a whole bunch of material which Ravi Varma was referring to and no one has actually spoken about it- the photographs, the models he looked at and there is this huge library that Ravi Varma was referring. When you flip through these pages you can see which painting originated from where,” he says.

Talking about the show he says, “When Sharan and I were talking about coming up with a show like this, she told me it would be best to have the talk revolving around music and dance as it is Margazhi and so I decided to focus on the music and dance aspects of the paintings.”

The talk has three parts- Kathakali, music, and Bharatanatyam. Divulging more details he says, “There’s a painting of Draupadi and Sitara and naturally since it’s Draupadi people associate the painting to Mahabharat while that’s not the case. The painting is actually inspired by a Kathakali piece.”

Similarly, there are other such paintings that have a very interesting backstory to offer. “These are not theories and are in fact backed by evidence from historical archives. So, the talk is going to be completely factual,” he chuckles.

He continues, “I’m looking forward to showing people the people around Ravi Varma. It is important that we acknowledge their work, effort and their contribution to art which we have taken for granted.”

The event is at Apparao Galleries on December 28 at 4.30 pm. For details 9884320305.

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