Pichhwai for the Festival of Cows

India, Deccan, Aurangabad (?)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 243

Large painted cloths (pichhwais) were made to hang behind the main image in a temple. This textile was produced for the Festival of Cows (Gopashtami), which occurs in the late autumn to celebrate Krishna’s elevation from a herder of calves to a cowherd. Note the range of cows and frolicking calves that populate the flower-strewn field. The indigo ground and extensive use of gold and silver are typical of pichhwais that were made for a community of Sri Nathji devotees who moved to the Deccan during this period.

Pichhwai for the Festival of Cows, Painted and printed gold and silver leaf and opaque watercolor on indigo-dyed cotton, India, Deccan, Aurangabad (?)

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