Art Idea ties up with Raja Ravi Varma‘s descendents to start merchandising his paintings
Art Idea, a Vadodarabased startup, has forged an exclusive tie-up with Raja Ravi Varma’s great great grandnephew Rama Varma Thampuran to promote the celebrated 19th century artist’s legacy in India and abroad through merchandise products. As per the exclusive agreement, the startup will be allowed to merchandise Ravi Varma’s paintings and oleographs on products such as canvas prints, coffee mugs, flower vases, mobile phone back covers, calendars, T-shirts and diaries. Art . 25 crore Idea expects to raise about ` from selling these products.“As legal and natural descendant of Raja Ravi Varma, I have mandated Art Idea to merchandise paintings and oleographs of my great ancestor Raja Ravi Varma,“ Rama Varma Thampuran said in response to an email query.

The other trustees of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore‘s Kilimanoor Palace will soon meet to discuss the matter, he said. Raja Ravi Varma, closely related to the then royal family , was born at Kilimanoor Palace.

“We wish to recreate the history by merchandising Ravi Varma’s world famous paintings and oleographs in various forms using modern technology, new age thinking and execution,“ said Sachin Kaluskar, founder of Art Idea. The exclusive arrangement with Art Idea will help today’s generation learn and understand Raja Ravi Varma’s great art and his style of visual and narrative communication, said Varma Thampuran. “Ravi Varma, through his paintings and oleographs, bound the nation and his prints became craze of the nation 100 years ago. I see similar possibility with these merchandise products,“ he said.

Most of Ravi Varma’s original collections are currently either with government museums or in private collections of the royal families of Vadodara, Mysuru and others. That is why very few original paintings have come out for auctions. In 2007, the UK auction house Bonhams sold a historic Raj painting by Ravi Varma crea .6 ting a record of £602,400 (about ` crore at current exchange rate). In 2010, Kiran Nadar, wife of HCL founder Shiv Nadar, bought the artist’s `Jatayu Vadham’ for `. 1.35 crore.

As per the arrangement, the merchandised products will be authenticated by Varma Thampuran.