From the Collection

The Abduction | R Regunatha Naidu | Oil on paper | c. 1893 | Swaraj Collection
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.

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