R.Regunatha Naidu was active in the late 19th Century in Trivandrum. He was probably related to the court painter Ramaswamy Naidu and influenced by the work of Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906).
The technique of oil painting was adopted by Indian artists soon after it was introduced into the country through their British counterparts in the late 18th Century. Several so-called “Company School” artists began experimenting in oil, producing pictures in a hybrid style that bridged the gap between traditional watercolour techniques and later academic oil painting. This trend was extended in the course of the 19th Century, resulting in a distinct indigenous style of painting. Not much is known about these early oil painters but it is likely that the following four pictures were painted by a member of the Naidu clan of court artists based in Travancore, now Kerala.
In the Hindu religion, Varaha is the third avatar of Vishnu, the preserver god in the Hindu Trimurti (trinity). He appeared in the form of a boar during the Satya Yuga. A variety of legends concerning the avatar centre upon the submergence of the Earth in water due to the action of the demon Hiranyaksha. Varaha dove deep into these waters to slay the demon, carrying the Earth from below the depths to safety.
Hinduism teaches that whenever humanity is threatened by extreme social disorder and wickedness, God will descend into the world as an avatar to restore righteousness, establish cosmic order, and redeem humanity from danger. The avatar doctrine presents a view of divinity that is compatible with evolutionary thinking since it suggests a gradual progression of avatars from amphibian through mammal to later human and godly forms. Most importantly, the concept of avatar presents the theological view of a deeply personal and loving God who cares about the fate of humanity rather than ignores it. Time and time again, the various avatars are willing to intervene on humanity’s behalf to protect its overall cosmic well-being (loka-samgraha).