1. Who were Raja Ravi Varma’s Gurus / Mentors / Teachers?
2. Can you also tell us about his family, upbringing, siblings, wife, parents?
3. Who were his contemporaries in the art world? Indian and around the world?
4. Every art emerges out of pain, sorrow, grief or rebel. Were there any triggers in his life to make such path breaking work?
5. What made him different or stand out from the rest? Was it the art, subjects or pure marketing?
6. What made him explore portraits as oppose to other forms for art like abstract, landscape and others? How did the Dutch portraitist Theodor Jenson connection happened?
7. How did he become famous and known as a national figure without social media?
8. Which was the main painting or time of his life which made him famous?
9. Can you share a brief background about his oleographs? His connection with various printing press in India? Was Printing press part of the strategy to be famous and distribute his work to rest of the world?
10. What is the one thing which one should imbibe and one should reject looking at Raja Ravi Varma as a human, since his artistic side is always inspiring. This is mainly for today’s artists and painters.
Manu Pillai is an Indian author and historian who has 3 award winning books in his name. The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore. Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji, and most recently The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin: Tales from Indian History.