NFT AUCTION: RtistiQ Set To Launch Digital NFTs of Raja Ravi Varma’s ‘The Coquette’ and ‘Reclining Nair Lady’

The Coquette is one of the artist’s most popular and replicated paintings 

To start off the new year, RtistiQ will present the Digital NFT versions of Raja Ravi Varma’s (RRV) works The Coquette and Reclining Nair Lady, two of his most famous paintings. With the originals considered to be National Treasures and unable to be brought out of India, the NFT versions will be auctioned online on the RtistiQ platform from 17 February to 20 February 2022. 



From 17 to 20 February, 2022

Original Artworks valued at USD 2.5M

Lithographs valued at USD 1K

Raja Ravi Varma’s original works are considered National Treasures and cannot be exported  out of India.

This collection will be single editions of works of the Indian Art Legend to be tokenized and minted and this also marks the first NFT sales in collaboration with a traditional gallery and an artist foundation.


With the surge of demand for NFTs in recent times, this event marks several firsts for the industry, especially within the Asian art collector and NFT communities. Considered to be national treasures, this collection of works of Raja Ravi Varma will be the first-ever to be tokenised and launched, accepting payments via credit card and crypto. At the same time, this is also the first time an NFT auction has been held in partnership with a traditional gallery as well as with an Artist Foundation, gallery g and the Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation. 

“Having already brought about a paradigm shift in the Indian art scene with his paintings, the introduction of Raja Ravi Varma’s works into the metaverse will no doubt spark a new movement within both the art collector and crypto communities. It is time that we explore the possibilities of tokenizing national treasures and fostering greater collaborations between various players in the arts scene to ensure the vitality of the industry,” says Jothi Menon, CEO and Founder of RtistiQ.

In an era where a single piece of modern art had been well coveted, Raja Ravi Varma revolutionised the industry by creating lithograph versions of his paintings and making art more accessible to all and satisfying the demands of patrons and admirers. 

As with Raja Ravi Varma’s legacy, the NFT auction would be made accessible to everyone globally – elite collectors, investors and the masses, thus offering an ability to lay claim to owning a piece of India’s heritage.

“To Ravi Varma, art had no boundaries- not by geography and certainly not by class. Till today, his keen ability to document daily life continues to captivate art enthusiasts and his paintings can be found in some of the most notable art collections and museums around the world,” says Rukmini Varma, Chairperson Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation, artist and great great granddaughter of Raja Ravi Varma.


Currently held in a private collection, The Coquette is one of the artist’s most copied and replicated paintings and is no longer available in the market although a recreation of the artwork was previously sold at Sotheby’s for USD 100,000

Due to the detailing and the careful brushstrokes, The Coquette is often deemed to be the predecessor of the nearly identical work, Lady with a Fruit, which is housed at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India.

Often capturing the daily life of women from aristocratic and noble families with his paintings, Raja Ravi Varma’s Reclining Nair Lady depicts an unknown lady leisurely reading a book while her ladies maid fans her in the background.

Painted in 1902, the posture and positioning of the Reclining Nair Lady by Raja Ravi Varma is referenced from French artist Eduardo Manet’s ‘Olympia’

About Raja Ravi Varma 

Raja Ravi Varma was an Indian painter and artist and is considered to be among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. His works are one of the best examples of the fusion of European academic art with a purely Indian sensibility and iconography. Additionally, he was notable for making affordable lithographs of his paintings available to the public, which greatly enhanced his reach and influence as a painter and public figure. His lithographs increased the involvement of common people with fine arts and defined artistic tastes among common people.


About RtistiQ 

RtistiQ is a distinct physical and digital art marketplace that brings together artworks created by artists from over 38 countries. It leverages innovative technologies such as Blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFT) and near field communication NFC technologies to build trust, transparency & honesty within the art industry.

About Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation

Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit institution that works to preserve and promote the artistic legacy of one of India’s greatest artists. Started by his great great granddaughter Bharani Thirunal Rukmini Bayi Tampuran in 2015, the Foundation’s activities are guided and managed by CEO and Managing Trustee Gitanjali Maini. Jaygopal Varma, an artist and direct descendant of Ravi Varma, is a Founder Trustee. The Foundation is the only institution in the world that works in the space of research, documentation, authentication and education with regard to Ravi Varma and his artworks.

For further information, on behalf of Rtistiq, please contact: 

Shannen Tan | 

Rhuby Elizabeth Ayao-ao | 

Press release submitted by SYNC PR | 

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