LOOKING AT ART leads children into the world and sensibilities of some of India's finest artists - contemporary, traditional and folk. It is an engaging introduction to art and the artist through story, memoir and biography, as well as a valuable resource for the understanding of art. Covering diverse forms of visual expression, it gives Young readers a wider and more inclusive idea of art.
THE VEENA PLAYER is one of a set of four books by Anjali Raghbeer featuring contemporary artists form four different parts of India Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, Ravi Varma and Maqbool Fida Husain.
A damaged painting is like a body without a soul, Aunty Prima tells Valsa, when they set about restoring an old painting by Ravi Varma. As they remover the layers of dust, Valsa hears a delicate caugh. Does it come from the paintings? A Charming story of friendship between young Valsa and the veena players, which weaves in nuances of Ravi Varma's art style and pays tribute to his skill in painting lifelike portraits.
RAVI VARMA was born in 1848 in Killimanoor in Kerala. A naturally gifted artist, he mastered the art of oil painting during his stay at the maharaja of Travancore's palace at Thiruvananthapuram, where he was exposed to European art.
He rose to fame with his painting, Nair Lady at the Toilet, which won the Governor's Gold Medal at an exhibition in Madras and another medal at an international exhibition in Vienna, both in 1873.
Sought after as a portrait painter by the country's ruling elite, Ravi Varma also produced a series of paintings based on mythology. His depictions of Hindu deities are immensely popular even today. To reach his art to everyone, he set up the Lithographic Press in Mumbai in 1894 which produced prints of his paintings.
He was conferred the title of 'Kaiser-i-Hind' in 1904 by British Viceroy Lord Curzon. He died soon after, in 1906.
Anjali Raghbeer specialised in business with an MBA from the London Business School, UK. But she had always yearned to writer, so she then did a certificated course in feature film writing from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. She now writes film script and children's books, and some of her works have been converted into plays for children. Currently, she is busy with a major UK-based film project. She lives in New Delhi with her husband and two daughters. With a great lover for art, she conducts workshops that introduce youngsters to the world of Indian art.
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