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Visit To Pichhwais Exhibition 

Class Teachers
Ms Fizza Kachwala
Ms Shalu Avasthi
        On 29 March, students of Std. VII visited an exhibition on Pichhwais, of Shrinathji, which was held at the Coomarswamy hall.

 

        Pichhwais are artistic devotional textiles that hang behind the sacred image of Krishna as Shrinathji. Pichhwais are so called since they are placed behind [peeche] the lord.

 This exhibition represents masterpieces from Praful & Shilpa’s TAPI [Textile & Art of the people of India] collection of Pichhwais, their collection regarded as a significant repository of India’s textile art.  

 

        Pichhwais play a distinct role in evoking the emotion of worship during darshan when the devotee gets a fleeting glimpse or jhankhi of the ‘living’ Lord. On different occasions, different pichhwais are placed behind the swarupa, idol as befits the season or festival. The artist craftsman is stepped in Krishna mythlogy, his creation reflecting his own outpouring of personal devotion.       

 

The diversity of Pichhwais exhibited presents the vast repertoire of 300 years of the textiles arts of India, ranging from pigment painted, pichhwais to dye-patterned, embroidered, brocaded, block and tinsel printed ones. 

 

        Apart from spectacular pigment painted, large-scale pichhwais from Nathdwara, Kotah, Jaipur and Kishangarh, the Exhibition includes some rare Kalamkari pichhwais from South-East India and the distinctive group of red or black pichhwais with a lavish use of gold paint form the Deccan.

 

     A rare dated pichhwai, exhibited for the first time, represents the distinguished zardozi art of 17th century Surat .The need to surround Krishna with sumptuous textiles representing the best one has to offer is rooted in the tenets of the sect.

 

         The world of pichhwais is enigmatic, kindly a visual and sensory experience that delights as it draws the devotee closer to his beloved Krishna. 

 

        The Lilas, divine sport, with scenes from Krishna’s life and legend (Daan Lila, Ras Lila) his childhood pranks, trysts with the gopis, seasons like spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and festivals like Sharad Purnima or Gopashtami form popular subjects for pichhwai artist.

 

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