Monumental Rajasthani Pichhwai Paintings, 20th Century
Artist unknown (Rajasthan, India)
Untitled, 20th century
Gouache paintings on cloth
From Northwestern India, picchwai are large-scale paintings meant to hang behind the shrines of the Hindu god Krishna. Other than as items of worship, these paintings are also meant to serve as a means of storytelling for the illiterate.
The smallest image depicts Krishna playing his flute for a group of gopis (milkmaids) and below Krishna dancing with Radha, his consort. The second work
depicts Vishwarupa, the cosmic form of Vishnu with Krishna being one of his avatars. The largest work depicts dancing gopis surrounding Shrinathji, a popular form of Krishna in the Nathdwara region of Rajasthan.
- abrasions, paint loss, and wear to paintings; creases throughout; marks and accretions particularly to the edges and verso; stains across lower edge of Vishwarupa painting.
- measures largest item.