Ravi Varma was one of the most admired artists due to his ability to re-interpret Indian mythology and literary themes using the language of Western art. The modern day artists are photographers who are able to do the same through their visual medium of photography.
Renown photographer G.Venket Ram has recreated the timeless paintings of Raja Ravi Varma into calendars for “Naam” charitable trust run by actor-director Suhasini Manirathnam.
These photographs portray south Indian women actors and dancers to celebrate "The spirit of Indian womanhood”. These limited edition calendars and booklets featuring the 12 prominent actresses and dancers were launched at The Folly, Amethyst, in Chennai on the 3rd of February. Proceeds from the sale of the calendars are going to be used to raise funds for empowering single women from under-served segments of society.
The 12 women featured in the pictures are actresses Khushboo, Shruti Haasan, Ramya Krishnan, Aishwarya Rajesh, Samantha Akkineni, Nadhiya, Lissy and dancers Priyadarshini Govind and Chamundeshwari.
Photography: G Venket Ram
Post-production: Disha Shah
Styling: Amritha Ram
Make-up & Hair: Prakruthi Ananth
Calendar Design: Padmaja Venket Ram
Shruti Hassan looks majestic as Radha in the moonlit backdrop of Ravi Varma’s painting “Radha in moonlight”.
Shruthi looks feminine and beautiful in this aristocratic portrait of Rani of Kurupam. Her delicate features make her the perfect choice to portray the by-gone era’s queen.
Nadhiya reminds us what we miss in recent modern days, Peace and quiet to self-reflect while looking like royalty. This painting reflects the private lives of women of different social background.
Samantha does look like she belongs to yester years. She looks like a porcelain skinned pregnant maiden who glows from within. The painting shows an expectant mother holding a fruit as a symbol of creating new life.
No one looks better than our “Raja Matha” to portray Damayanthi. This picture shows Damayanthi listening with rapt attention to the tales of King Nala from the swan.
Kushboo Sundar looks perfect in this portraiture being a Maharashtrian herself. She looks charming and noble as a Maharashtrian lady after visiting a temple.
Shobana looks queenly in the portrait of “There comes papa” of Ravi Varma’s daughter Mahaprabha. Being a Malayalee dancer, she looks perfect for this painting, emoting and gesturing like the princess herself.
No one looks better than Aishwarya Rajesh to model as a Tamil queen. She looks regal and majestic as the Rani of Pudukottai in this photograph.
Lissy looks perfect as the royal woman from Kerala in this portraiture. She looks graceful and monarchial in this sublime visual medium.
We love everything about this photograph- the saree, jewellery and the chair where Lakshmi Manchu poses as the Rani Chimnabai after whom the Lakshmi Vilas palace in Tanjore is named.
Chamundeswari looks like the twin of Maharani Lakshmi Bai who poses in the original painting. She was the senior Rani of Travancore, Tamil nadu. We can’t get enough of her royal attitude and confidence in this portraiture.
Who better to pose as Kadambari, a modern, intellectual Bengali lady, other than Priyasarshini Govind? She definitely looks modern with her poise, grace and modern cut-shoes.