In the lead-up to the 175th birth anniversary of Indian master artist Raja Ravi Varma, Nine chromolithographs of the artist will be showcased at the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum in Abu Dhabu as part of the museum’s fifth anniversary culture season. The artwork is loaned to the museum by Bengaluru-based Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation.
The nine chromolithographs including Lakshmi, Saraswati, Shankar, Shesha Narayana, Vishnu Garuda Vahan, Shanmukha Subramuniyaswami, Mohini, Krishna with Radha and Sakhi, and Go Dohana printed in the various Ravi Varma Presses will be part of a larger exhibition. Titled Bollywood Superstars: A Short Story of Indian Cinema organised in partnership with Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and France Muséums, it will present the richness of the Indian subcontinent’s art and civilisation through its long tradition of image making.
exhibition explores the history of Indian cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century up to the present. Through more than 80 artworks including photographs, textiles, graphic arts, costumes and over 30 film extracts, the exhibition explores the rich history of the Indian cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century up to the present. The artworks come from the collections of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Musée de l’armée, Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, al-Sabah Collection, Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation and Priya Paul Collection.
The exhibition is co-curated by Julien Rousseau, Curator and Head of the Asian Collections, Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, and Hélène Kessous, PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, with the support of Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Digital images of two original oil paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, including the alluring work ‘The Coquette’ that belong to important private collectors from India, will feature in the catalogue produced by Louvre Abu Dhabi for this exhibition.
Gitanjali Maini, Managing Trustee & CEO, Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation said: “The premise of the Foundation is to share its assets, research, information and knowledge with museums, other institutions and researchers who are keen to know more about this great artist. Working with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, shortlisting the chromolithographs from our collection and brainstorming with them for this landmark exhibition that they are curating has been an exciting process. We are grateful to the entire team at the Louvre Abu Dhabi for thinking of including Raja Ravi Varma and his work into such an important international exhibition.”
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, “In a museum that invites visitors to discover artworks from all over the world, we are privileged to work again with Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac on this exhibition that explores the image in movement, after our first collaboration in 2019 on an exhibition about the development of photography in its first years of existence. Bollywood Superstars is a feast not only to Indian audiences who are among the most important nationalities that visit Louvre Abu Dhabi, but also to everyone with an appetite for the rich culture of the sub-continent and its roots.”