To start off the new year, RtistiQ will present the Digital NFT versions of Raja Ravi Varma’s (RRV) works The Coquette and Reclining Nair Lady, two of his most famous paintings. With the originals considered to be National Treasures and unable to be brought out of India, the NFT versions will be auctioned online on the RtistiQ platform from 17 February to 20 February 2022.
With the surge of demand for NFTs in recent times, this event marks several firsts for the industry, especially within the Asian art collector and NFT communities. Considered to be national treasures, this collection of works of Raja Ravi Varma will be the first-ever to be tokenized and launched, accepting payments via credit card and crypto. At the same time, this is also the first time an NFT auction has been held in partnership with a traditional gallery as well as with an Artist Foundation, gallery g and the Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation.
"Having already brought about a paradigm shift in the Indian art scene with his paintings, the introduction of Raja Ravi Varma's works into the metaverse will no doubt spark a new movement within both the art collector and crypto communities. It is time that we explore the possibilities of tokenizing national treasures and fostering greater collaborations between various players in the arts scene to ensure the vitality of the industry,"
says Jothi Menon, CEO and Founder of RtistiQ.
In an era where a single piece of modern art had been well coveted, Raja Ravi Varma revolutionised the industry by creating lithograph versions of his paintings and making art more accessible to all and satisfying the demands of patrons and admirers.
As with Raja Ravi Varma’s legacy, the NFT auction would be made accessible to everyone globally – elite collectors, investors, and the masses, thus offering an ability to lay claim to owning a piece of India’s heritage.
"To Ravi Varma, art had no boundaries- not by geography and certainly not by class. Till today, his keen ability to document daily life continues to captivate art enthusiasts and his paintings can be found in some of the most notable art collections and museums around the world,"
says Rukmini Varma, Chairperson Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, artist and great great granddaughter of Raja Ravi Varma.
Currently held in a private collection, The Coquette is one of the artist’s most copied and replicated paintings and is no longer available in the market although a recreation of the artwork was previously sold at Sotheby’s for USD 100,000.
Due to the detailing and the careful brushstrokes, The Coquette is often deemed to be the predecessor of the nearly identical work, Lady with a Fruit, which is housed at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India.
Often capturing the daily life of women from aristocratic and noble families with his paintings, Raja Ravi Varma’s Reclining Nair Lady depicts an unknown lady leisurely reading a book while her ladies maid fans her in the background.