This site is a work in progress. Last updated on 30 September 2009.
It has been universally accepted that lithography was instrumental in democratising art in India. Until the introduction of mechanical printing, pictorial art was the exclusive domain of the rich. In India, one of the artists who pioneered lithography was Raja Ravi Varma. His legacy has survived to this day predominantly due to the continued popularity of this prints.
The flip side however was that artists who ventured to have their paintings printed were criticized as being "calendar artists". All these so-called calendar artists have hitherto been judged only by the calendars or framing pictures. The original paintings of these artists have seldom been viewed.
Here is an example of a calendar printed for the Lakshmi Mills Co Ltd. The theme is one of Lakshmi and the artist is C Kondiah Raju:
This is the original painting from which the calendar was made:
Lakshmi by C Kondiah Raju (Gouache on board)
This site explores the legacies of the post Ravi Varma "calendar" artists with brief biographies in an attempt to re-evaluate their contributions to the pictorial art form in India.
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