Pichhawai (pichha - back and wai - of) always reminds the pigment painted handy-work of hangings illustrating Shri Nathji of Nathdwara (Rajasthan), which is the most integral part of the Vallabhacharya Sampradaya. Subject of these pichhawais is the illustration of Shri Nath ji and numerous festivals related to him. The tradition of pichhawai was so popular in around 18th century that it inspired the printer, weaver and embroiderer to work upon it besides the painter. With the result, number of tinsel printed pichhawais from Deccan and zari brocaded and ari-embroidered pichhawais from Gujarat were made during the 19th century. The ari-embroidered pichhawais are less worked upon in compare to painted and tinsel printed ones. Here is an attempt to discuss the ari-embroidered two pichhawais of the National Museum collection in detail.
Part of a Magnificent Early Pichhawai
The deep blue satin silk embroidered hanging is a part of larger pichhawai. (pl. 42.1) This piece is only one segment of a large pichhawai, which depicts three female devotees standing behind each other under an arched grove. The arches here remind the 17th-18th century arches of stone and wood temples of western region. The multi-coloured grove is full of floral foliage, dancing peacock, pair of parrot and banana tree symbolizes the life, which was the most popular subject for ari embroidered large hangings especially made for export to European market in the 19th century. Three female devotees hold the morchhal (peacock feathered...
Embroidery, Rajasthan, textile
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