Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Picchwai for the Festival of Cows

late 18th century
India, Deccan, Aurangabad (?)
Painted and printed gold and silver leaf and opaque watercolor on indigo-dyed cotton
97 5/8 x 103 1/8 in. (248 x 262 cm)
Textiles-Painted and Printed
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2003
Accession Number:
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.
Mr. W. Uhde , Germany (by 1986 until 2003, sold to Simon Ray); ; [ Simon Ray Limited , London, 2003; sold to MMA ]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," February 9, 2004–May 9, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: A Curatorial Legacy," June 15, 2016–December 4, 2016.

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