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Picchwai for the Festival of Cows

Date:
late 18th century
Culture:
India, Deccan, Aurangabad (?)
Medium:
Painted and printed gold and silver leaf and opaque watercolor on indigo-dyed cotton
Dimensions:
97 5/8 x 103 1/8 in. (248 x 262 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Painted and Printed
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.177
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251
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.
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