Vintage Oleograph Raja Ravi Varma “Vishnu On Sheshnag”
Vintage Oleograph Raja Ravi Varma “Vishnu On Sheshnag”. This print is from the 1900s, it measures in its original frame 27 x 22½ inch, weighs 3.5 kg. Raja Ravi Varma had already gained legendary status as an artist. He was further elevated to astronomical levels after he established a press in 1894. See my post on- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph c1894.
He opened the Press at Girgaum, Bombay, or Mumbai in 1894. It went through immense financial difficulties. All because of mismanagement by Raja Ravi Varma’s partner-Govardhan Das. They then sold off the Press in distress to Fritz Schleicher, the chief German technician. From 1903 the press operated with a new owner, Fritz Schleicher. He created history by mass-producing the prints of Raja Ravi Varma’s artworks.
The oleographs reached almost all corners of India by 1906. There were only a few households that did not own a Raja Ravi Varma oleograph print. Multinational companies took advantage of the Ravi Varma’s Gods and Goddesses. By advertising on the growing popularity of his oleographs. This oleograph of Raja Ravi Varma’s “Vishnu on Sheshnag” is an example, displays the advertisement of Vinolia soap.
See also my post on- Vintage Oleograph Raja Ravi Varma Laxmi. Vinolia was a wholly British owned company, they sold toiletries in the UK, India, other commonwealth countries. The oleograph shows the Vinolia soap advertisement. I have one in my collection of an empty Vinolia soapbox, see the images above. Besides the “Sheshnag” advertisement oleo, I have the Raja Ravi Varma “Laxmi” oleograph also with the Vinolia ad.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma Balamoni Photo Postcard 1910., 1800s Hand Colored Print of Jama Masjid & Outskirts Delhi., Maharajah Of Travancore And The reception Of James Outram c1859., Vintage Photo Bombay Horse-Drawn Tram