This particular postcard is among the hardest of Gerhardt's early works for The Ravi Varma Press to find, despite the effective use of depth of field to bring life to the scene.
Paul Gerhardt was one of the very first people to produce artist-signed postcards in India. As chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press, he arrived in Bombay with the press machinery in the early 1890s. The working language at the Press was German, and lithographers at the time were highly trained technicians and artists. Gerhardt was a painter as well, at times working with the Varma brothers whom he befriended and was admired by (as the younger Varma's diaries record). These postcards, which can be firmly dated to a contract and some of which are signed and dated in 1899, were his own work. Some may date to 1898, and some are not signed but likely from similarities in style and backs to have been drawn and produced by him at the Press.
An early postcard and theme of Bombay artists, the fisher woman, with a basket of fish on her head. A fishing vessel is in the background, its mast at an angle which adds energy to her pose.
A very early postcard printed in India, most likely by The Ravi Varma Press and drawn by its chief lithographer Paul Gerhardt.
A very early lithographed card by Paul Gerhardt, who ran the lithographic printers at the Ravi Varma Press.
Sent to Miss Ettoi Virmillion, 52 West & South, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, via San Francisco: [Recto] "Bombay 22 March 1905. Very bare. Will"
Among the first series of postcards printed in India by The Ravi Varma Press, this lithograph by the German artist at the Press, Paul Gerhardt, shows how in these very early days, placing the title was not quite fixed by convention, It could easily
Unlike many photographic postcards that emphasized the crowded nature of Bombay bazaars at the turn of the century, Gerhardt opens up the foreground in this painted depiction to create a more spacious and effect.
Among the first postcards printed in India, from a lithograph by The Ravi Varma Press' chief lithographer, Paul Gerhardt.