G. Venkat Ram and his 2020 calendar with eleven actresses and dancers has been making headlines for a while now for having recreated Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings for a charitable trust, NAAM founded by actor-director Suhasini Maniratnam. This was to celebrate, “the spirit of Indian womanhood” he said. As many as 11 women including Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Shruti Hasan, Khushbu Sundar, Ramya Krishnan, Lissy Lakshmi, Nadia, Lakshmi Manchu, Piryadarshini Govind, Shobana Chandrakumar, Aishwarya Rajesh, and Chamundeshwari collaborated with Venket Ram to finally bring in photographs what Raja Ravi Varma once painted on a canvas. The calendars were limited edition and were launched with the booklets at The Folly, Amythest in Chennai on February 3, 2020. The money received from this was then used to raise funds for single women from the underprivileged section of the society, to empower them.
The post production was handled by Disha Shah while Amritha Ram saw to the styling. Prakruthi Ananth did the make up and hair styling while the calendar was designed by Padmaja Venket Ram. The entire unit got together to recreate these masterpieces.
G.Venket Ram recreated a portrait of Maharani Lakshmi Bayi, the senior rani of Travancore with Chamundeshwari.
Shruti Hasan collaborated for the recreation of two of his paintings, one of which was Radha in Moonlight.
Ram and Nadiya came together to showcase the private lives of women from different social backgrounds
Samantha Ruth Prabhu, another South Indian actress stood as an expecting mother holding a fruit in her hand. The fruit is seen as the symbol of a new life.
Ramya Krishnan depicts Damyanti who is listening to the tales of Nala from a swan, lost in her imagination.
Khushbu in her picture stands holding a tray of fruits portraying a Maharashtrian woman who just came back after a temple visit.
Shobana Chandrakumar appears in the ‘there comes papa’ portrait of the painter’s daughter itself. It is supposed to be Raja Ravi Kumar’s daughter Mahaprabha.
Aishwarya Rajesh sits for a portrait of a woman who is high minded. She mostly represents The Rani of Padukottai in the photograph.
Lissy Lakshmi was photographed for the portrait of a royal woman from the state of Kerala.
Another one was Shruti Hasan’s depiction in the calendar includes the portrait of the Rani of Karupum.
One of these many women was Lakshmi Manchu who was photographed as Rani Chinnabai the first, after whom the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Tinjore is named.
Last but not the least, Priyadarshini Govind was a modern, intellectual Bengali lady in her photograph, Kadambari.
All the photographs look exactly like the paintings in terms of the colour scheme, and the setting making it even more realistic.