The Artists of Nathadwara - Part 5


June 1, CANADA (SUN) — Throughout the remainder of the Artists of Nathadwara series, we will explore a number of pichhavais that exemplify the temple hangings of the Sri Nathaji cult. The Lord's pastime scenes are generally viewed in the temple as a sequence of events in Sri Krsna's life. These events generally fall within a specific month or season of the year.

Most of the painted pichhavais are designed for use during the autumn, and particularly commemorate episodes related to Krsna's activities during this season. Others are keyed to the monsoon season, while some depict pastimes at the height of the summer or winter.

Today's pichhavai hanging is entitled Dana Lila, or 'Demanding of Toll'. Sri Krsna tips curds from a pot carried by a gopi as she and her five companions take their produce to market. The incident takes place against a background of trees, while celestials drop flower petals from their aerial chariots above.

Underneath this scene, Govardhana Hill is depicted with the Dana Lila again shown on the right and the Govardhana Puja on the left. Below this, by the Yamuna Ghat, a peacock dances in the center of a group of adoring cows, who are pleased by the fact that the peacock shares Krsna's blue color, and that Krsna wears a peacock feather in his headdress.

Around the top and sides of the panel are rows of cows against a black background. Another row of cows and calves from an earlier pichhavai has been added to the sides and bottom.

The main pichhavai was painted in the early 20th century, while the outer border was added in the late 19th century. The entire panel measures 91" x 87".


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