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Lawyer & Author

Date & Time

Saturday Sat, 10 Feb 2024



Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) is considered the foremost modern Indian artist who painted in the style of academic realism. His works were exceedingly sought after with many patrons including those of the royal families of Baroda, Mysore, Travancore, Udaipur, etc. The appeal of his work led to countless demands for copies of his works. This demand eventually lead to the establishment of the Ravi Varma Press which commenced in 1894 in Bombay (now Mumbai). The success of the Press led to the passage of art from the patron to the public in an unprecedented scale leading to the evolution of religious imagery and generic aesthetic notions of the people of the Indian sub-continent. The presence of art in the common realm was appreciated as also criticized- being used and abused eventually leading to legal and policy interventions. On the other hand, the powerful brand value of these images helped sensitize social ailments leading to legislations.

What is the place of a member of the legal fraternity in the field of art and culture? Are they opposite fields of study or did they converge and help each other evolve? This exploration forms the subject matter of the talk.

Ganesh V. Shivaswamy is a litigating lawyer from Bengaluru and has authored six volumes on the legacy of Raja Ravi Varma titled Raja Ravi Varma: An Everlasting Imprint. Two of the six volumes were launched in 2023 with the remaining to be launched over the next two years.

Join us for a talk which looks at the interplay between law, policy, art and India’s democratic artist, Raja Ravi Varma.


Ganesh V Shivaswamy

Lawyer & Author

Ganesh V. Shivaswamy is a lawyer from Bengaluru who, in addition to his profession, has taken up the task of structuring the artistic legacy of Raja Ravi Varma. His interest commenced with collecting chromolithographs from the Ravi Varma Press which is now considered one of the most substantial collections of the prints from the Press.

In 2006, he commemorated the centennial death anniversary of the artist by creating the first online catalogue of prints from the Press. In 2019 he established the Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, which immediately thereafter partnered with Google Arts and Culture. To coincide with the commemoration of 125 years of the Ravi Varma Press, the Foundation launched chromolithographs from his collection on the Google platform.

In 2016, he curated an exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) titled “Royal Lithography and Legacy”.

In March 2021, Ganesh was appointed the honorary curator of the new wing of the Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram which is specifically dedicated to the works of Ravi Varma and associated artists.