A set of two portraits placed together in a photomontage is viral on social media. One of the portraits(Right) is of the Mona Lisa, a renowned art piece by Italian artist Leonardo Vinci created at the beginning of the 16th century. While, the other portrait is claimed to be the painting by Raja Ravi Verma, who is considered among the greatest painters in Indian art history.
The photomontage is captioned as, "Choose between two portraits. One is by Raja Ravi Verma, which perhaps, you have never seen. Another is by Leonardo da Vinci which you must have seen million times. Now think about how marketing and propaganda lobbies bias our minds."
The claim is viral on Facebook.
The claim is viral on Twitter.
The viral photo is a painting by Raja Ravi Verma.
The Logical Indian did a fact check of the viral claim and found it false.
We closely observed the portrait claimed to be the painting by Raja Ravi Verma and noticed a blurred text inscribed on it. Using a zoom tool, we found the text was @Sruvam Studios.
We did a google reverse image search of the portrait and found that it was uploaded on Pinterest. The picture is captioned, "Raja Ravi Varma recreation series with @swati194| wonderful captures by the team @sruvamstudios #bridesofhyderabad #bride…"
The Pinterest post mentioned an Instagram link that we followed, and it led us to a profile, 'bridesofhyderabad'. The Instagram profile's description read, "• South India Wedding Blog • Hyderabad Bridal Inspiration • Brides and Bridesmaids • Wedding Ideas • Find best vendors • Daily stories • Promotions •." The same portrait was uploaded on this Instagram page on 21 June 2019. The picture was captioned, "Raja Ravi Varma recreation series with @swati194 | wonderful captures by the team @sruvamstudios."
We did a keyword search using keywords like 'Raja Ravi Verma, Swati, and Sruvam Studios' and found that the same picture was uploaded on Facebook by South Indian actress Swathi Reddy on 16 June 2019. She captioned the photo, "Radha in the Moonlight | Raja Ravi Varma Recreation Series by Sruvam Photography Old school girl. #guts".
The actress mentioned the Facebook page 'Sruvam Photography' in the post. Sruvam Photography has over 1.5 lakh followers on Facebook.
We also contacted Shruthi of Sruvam Studios, who confirmed that they clicked the image. She told us, "The photo was shot during June 2019 by Mr Vamsi Krishna of Sruvam studios, Hyderabad and was shot with South Indian actress Swathi Reddy."
Therefore, we conclude that though the portrait in the viral photomontage is based on Raja Ravi Verma's artwork, it is recreated photo and not an authentic painting. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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