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Pichwai Paintings

Saturday, June 13th, 2009 | Author:

pichwai-paintings_11057Many forms of Indian paintings are relatively unknown despite being rich in tradition in deeply rooted in culture. One of such forms of paintings is Pichwai painting. Originated in Rajasthan, it is basically a type of traditional fabric painting. Mostly used in temples of Shrinathji, pichwai painting is considered as quite refined and detailed in nature.  Krishna temples in Nathdwara are famous for such paintings. The main theme of these paintings revolves around Shrinathji and his exploits. It is not an easy task to make pichwai paintings. Made on rough hand spun cloth, pichwai paintings are painted and printed with hand blocks. Appliqué is used for weaving, embroidery and decoration purposes. The paintings have high religious roots and painters are religious people. Places like Nathwada and Udaipur are the hub of these paintings.


Temples at Nathwada celebrate cloth hanging ceremony. This ceremony is considered as very sacred amongst the devout. People use these clothes both as an offering as well as to take home as souvenir. Pichwai paintings use colorful embroidery and outlines are normally dark colored. Colors like yellow, green, black and cream are used in stitching whereas background is mostly in red color. Many painters also use gold threads in designing work. To highlight the outline, white color is used and velvet is used for gota work.  

The most interesting part about pichwai paintings are themes. It is not constant. In fact, theme is subject to mood and season. Different painters dedicate the art work in different seasons. For example, if you visit the place in winter, you will find usage of jamawar pattern in the paintings whereas pink lotuses are used during summer season. Anukooth refers to main pichwai that has god in a silver dress. Zardozi work, pearls and dabka are used for further decoration. Undoubtedly, pichwai paintings represent a great tradition of Indian art.


: Image courtesy indianetzone.com