In 1893, Raja Ravi Varma established the first printing press in India, known as the Ravi Varma Oleographic and Chromolithographic Printing Workshop. To help produce his paintings, Varma employed Fritz Schleischer of Berlin, a printer highly qualified in the technique of reproduction of color lithographic printing, to act as manager of the workshop. At the turn of the century, the city of Bombay was ravaged by bubonic plague and the workshop was relocated to a little known hill station called Malavali in the Western Ghats, about eighty miles from the city.
Schleischer paid the first installment of 4,000 rupees towards the purchase of the first print works in 1903, at which stage the firm was renamed The Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Works. About a hundred yards away from the factory, Schleischer built his home on a hillside, married, and had twelve children. His children inherited many of Ravi Varma's paintings and these two pictures 'Malabar Beauty' and 'Village Belle' were part of the family inheritance, which were obtained by the present owner through purchase.