Ravi Varma was born on April 29, 1848 at Kilimanoor, Kerala. His first visit to Palace at Thiruvananthapuram was at the age of 14, in 1862. Rama Swamy Naidu was the palace painter then, under whom Ravi Varma learned basics of painting. Theodor Jenson visited palace in 1868 and Ravi Varma learned oil painting under him. It was in 1870 he travelled to Mookambi and when coming back did first painting for money, 'Kizhakke Palatt Krishna Menon and Family'.
The main turning points after that were Vienna Exhibition and Madras Exhibition in 1873, Madras Exhibition again in 1873 all of which gave him gold prizes, certificates and fame. First Baroda journey was in 1881 and Mysore trip was in 1886. Mother Umamba Thampuratti expired in 1887. He travelled all over India in 1888.
His wife Poororuttathi Thirunal Mahaprabha Thampuratty expired in 1891. Second Baroda journey was in the same year. The famous Chicago exhibition was in 1893 and he started frst oleograph press at Ghatkopar, Mumbai in 1894. Travelled all over North India in 1898. Next year, in 1899 shifted oleograph press to Lonavala near Pune, Maharashtra. Father Ezhumavil Neelakandan Bhattathiripad expired same year.
In 1901 he sold press to Schleizer. Same year travelled to Udaipur. In 1903 there was an exhibition in Madras. 1904 received Kesari Hindu honorship from India Government. Beloved brother C. Raja Raja Varma expired in 1905 and Ravi Varma expired on October 2, 1906.