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Ravi Varma Koil Thampuran of Kilimanoor Palace (April 29, 1848 – October 2, 1906), better known as Raja Ravi Varma was an established painter of the late 19th, early 20th century. Sri Chitra Art Gallery, established in 1935 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, houses one of the largest collections of his authentic paintings some of them specifically painted by the artist for display in the gallery, a dream that he couldn’t see materialize during his lifetime. Almost a century after these paintings were executed by Ravi Varma, the conservation treatment of these paintings was carried out by the authors for the National Museum, New Delhi. The paintings treated in the project include 41 paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, of which 30 were oil on canvas, 4 were oil on wooden panels, 1 was oil on board, and 6 were water colour on paper. 2 water colour paintings on ivory by A.R. Raja Raja Varma were also imparted conservation treatment in the project. Due to the risk involved in transporting the paintings to the National Museum laboratory at Delhi and the importance of the paintings to visitors who visit Thiruvananthapuram for the purpose, a temporary conservation studio was established in the premises of the Gallery where the paintings were treated during the project. The paintings were taken up one by one from the gallery and replaced as soon as the conservation procedures were completed so that only a minimum number of paintings were removed from display in order to avoid disappointment to the visitors.
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