Celebrity photographer Venket Ram has come out with an interesting project this year. In collaboration with NAAM charitable trust, founded by Suhasini Maniratnam, the photographer has brought out a calendar edition for 2020 to celebrate the spirit of Indian womanhood. The project is a work of charity, where proceeds from the sale of the calendars will go towards empowering women from weaker sections of the society.
Have you seen the latest episode of Simply Khushbu? If not, then watch it here.
For this calendar project, the photographer roped in 12 famous actresses from the south including Khushbu, Ramya Krishna, Samantha, Shruti Haasan, Aishwarya Rajesh, Malayali actresses Shobhana and Lissy Lakshmi as well as Telugu actress Lakshmi Manchu. There is also a surprise subject in one of Venket’s photographs who blew our minds away. But we will reveal that only towards the end. Scroll down to see these beautiful recreations of Raja Ravi Varma’s most famous portraits.
Samantha as Lady With The Fruit
Actress Samantha poses for the Lady With the Fruit, one of Ravi Varma’s most famous paintings. Paintings of women in earlier times often included a fruit in the picture to symbolise fertility. And Samantha perfectly captures the softness and innocence of the young girl portrayed in the painting.
Ramya Krishna as Damayanthi Talking To Nala
The story of Nala and Damayanthi is one of the most popular tales in Mahabharata and translated into many languages including Persian. Raja Ravi Varma has beautifully captured this scene from the tale where he imagines the swan to have flown over to Damayanthi’s palace and recalled all the many virtues of King Nala. It is said that, smitten by her beauty, Nala sent over a swan who sings praises about the king in order to make Damayanti fall in love with him. Ramya Krishna perfectly captures the enraptured expression on Damayanthi’s face as she listens to the swan wax lyrical about this handsome King.
Khushbu as Maharashtrian Lady
Actress Khushbu plays the Maharashtrian lady, replicating Raja Ravi Varma’s artwork for the same. The lady holds a platter of fruits in her hand, presumably returning from a temple visit. And Khusbhu is poised to perfection, looking like the lady in the painting, in flesh.
Shruti Haasan – Radha In Moonlight
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NAAM Celebrating Raja Ravi Varma, ft. Shruti Hassan Indian celebrity photographer G Venkat Ram's "Recreating Raja Ravi Varma" calendar for 'NAAM Charitable Trust', founded by actor-producer Suhasini Mani Ratnam. Photography : G Venkat Ram Post-production : Disha Shah Styling : Amritha Ram Make-up & Hair : Prakruti Ananth Calendar Design: Padmaja Venkat Ram. #paradoxnc #rajaravivarma #gvenkatram #painting #photography #recreation #shrutihassan #suhasinimaniratnam
Radha in the moonlight is one of Raja Ravi Verma’s most renowned works, done later in his life after having thoroughly absorbed and painted mythological lore. In this painting, Radha is clearly aware of Krishna’s godly status for she sits on the river-bank under the illumination of the moonlight, awaiting him as his lady love, but with a pooja thali at hand, filled with flowers and sweetmeats to first perform the ritual of worship. Shruti Haasan has beautifully embodied the glow of love in Radha’s eyes, as she waits for Lord Krishna to emerge from amidst the trees.
Shruti Haasan – Portrait of Rani Of Kurupam
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Royal Fables admires this special series by G. Venket Ram (@venketramg ) for #NAAM Calender 2020 that recreates the acclaimed Raja Ravi Varma legacy patronized by the Baroda royal family and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Baroda. #Rajaravivarma #rajaravivarmapainting #baroda #royalfamily
The portrait of the Rani Of Kurupam is one of the more grandiose projects undertaken by Raja Ravi Varma with the sole focus in the painting being the Rani. As she sits, resplendent in Basra pearls, diamonds and sapphires, the overall impression is that of a beauty in blue. The fine weaving work put into the saree is also beautifully shown in the portrait and it’s this majestic grandeur that Shruti Haasan portrays in her photographic essay of the same.
Aishwarya Rajesh – Portrait of a High Minded Woman- Rani of Pudukottai
Tamil actress Aishwarya Rajesh, of Kanaa fame, is seen in this recreation of a portrait of Her Highness Janaki Subamma Bai Sahib of Pudukkottai. Varma painted this in 1880 while he was in Tamil Nadu for a short while. He painted a lot of the royals during that time. Varma was actually commissioned by the Maharaja Thondaiman of Pudukkottai himself to paint not only his wife, but also the Maharaja himself as well as his sons and a few other royal family members. In the photograph, Aishwarya looks as regal as the Rani of Pudukottai herself, bearing all the confidence that comes with her station in life.
Chamundeshwari as Maharani Lakshmi Bayi
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Posted @withregram • @venketramg G Venket Ram – Calendar 2020 for Naam – Recreating Raja Ravi Varma Portrait of Maharani Lakshmi Bayi who became the senior rani of Travancore portrayed by Chamundeshwari, a beneficiary at Naam #naamct #gvenketram #gvenketramphotography #recreatingrajaravivarma #gappigopi #rajaravivarma Credits: Photography: G Venket Ram @venketramg Naam Suhasini Maniratnam @suhasinihasan Post-production: Disha Shah @disha_dee Styling: Amritha Ram @amritha.ram Make-up & Hair: Prakruthi Ananth @prakatwork Calendar Design: Padmaja Venket Ram @padmajav Jewellery courtesy: @princejewelleryindia @jozzspprince Event PR: @theglassbox.chennai @supriya0913 @sonalikuruvilla Launch: The Folly, @amethystchennai . . #rajaravivarmapainting #calendar2020 #calendar #photography #fineart #fineartphotography #photographyislife #lensculture
This would have to be our favourite. This is also Venket’s surprise inclusion in the photo shoot. Chamundeshwari is no actress, but actually a beneficiary of NAAM. To have included her in this photoshoot is an amazing experiment and the dusky beauty perfectly epitomises the allure and that hint of tempered steel underneath that marks Lakshmi Bayi, for both women underwent and triumphed over much struggles in life.
Malar and Chamundeshwari
We found these pictures posted by Suhasini Maniratnam which shows their test pictures of NAAM women, before finalising on Chamundeshwari. In this, you can see that, Chamundeshwari who looks regal and warrior-like as Maharani Lakshmi Bayi in the previous photograph, is actually shy and nervous to face camera for the first time. The two women, Malar and Chamundi, comrades in life, look adorable with their shy smiles.
For more such stories on the strength and spirit of Indian women, check out Super Mom 2, a reality show for single moms, now streaming on ZEE5.