Handcrafted Pichwai Art & Krishna Paintings

Handcrafted Pichwai Art & Krishna Paintings

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      25 products

      25 products

      Pichwai Paintings originated in Nathdwara and are traditionally used as the backdrop of the Krishna idol in the sanctum of the Pushtimarg temples. The term is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘pich’, which means ‘back’ and ‘wai’, which means ‘hanging’. The Pichwai Art generally referes to Krishna paintings done in a peculiar style in the temple town of Nathdwara. They are devotional, painted wall-hangings with an exuberant depiction of tales from Krishna’s life.

      The devotional wall hangings of Pichwai Art usually depict Krishna in his Shrinathji form, that is, the seven-year-old Krishna holding up the Govardhan mountain. They depict different episodes from the life of Krishna as well as festivals like Sharad Purnima, Raas Leela, Annakoot or Govardhan Puja, Janmashtami, Gopashtami, Nand Mahotsav, Diwali and Holi.

      Traditionally, Pichwai paintings are made on starched cotton cloth, on which the artist first makes a sketch using a black pigment held between his fingers. The sketch is then filled in with coloured pigments. Next, the artist redraws the outlines so that the subject and motifs stand out clearly.

      For Pichwai art, artists traditionally used natural pigments and dyes like madder for red, lapis lazuli for blue, and lamp black for black and gold. Even the brushes were made from the hair of animals like squirrels and goats. Depending on the level of detail and scale of the painting, it could take from a few days to a fortnight to make a single Pichwai painting.

      After centuries of painting on cloth, the Pichwai Art has undergone a change. Artists now sketch with pencil, and instead of natural pigments, acrylic, oil and water colours are used. Besides, the motifs are now painted on souvenirs and keepsakes sold in shops all across Nathdwara. You can even find embroidered, printed and machine-made Pichwai paintings today.

      PeepulTree offers a wonderful collection of Pichwai products, sourced from Pichwai artist Sushil Kumar Soni from Bhilwara in Rajasthan. This not only helps this wonderful art form reach a wider audience, but also preserves its story and legacy.