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  • Place of origin:

    India (south-east, made)

  • Date:

    early 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted, dyed and tinsel-printed cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, room 41, case 6A

This is a small fragment from what must have been a superb large pichhwai (hanging for a Krishna shrine). While hangings of this type are usually associated with the area around Nathadwara in Rajasthan, intricately drawn and dyed pichhwais like this one were also made in South-East India for followers of the Vallabhacharya sect in the Deccan. The masterly drawing and dyeing on this piece suggests that it was made in South-East India, in the area of modern-day Andhra Pradesh formerly known for its superb painted and dyed textiles made for export as well as the domestic market.
The complete hanging would have been about two metres high, and this fragment would have come from an area under the main field, which would almost certainly have shown Krishna in the centre flanked by gopis (cow-herd girls).

Physical description

Fragment of a pichwai (hanging for a Krishna temple) in painted, dyed and tinsel-printed cotton. Showing scenes of Krishna, cows and cow-herds.

Green ground with a design in red, violet, green, indigo, blue, natural cotton and gold. With Krishna and his brother Balarama enthroned in two pavilions in a rocky landscape flanked by flowering trees with parrots perched. To the right of the Krishna pavilion, three male worshippers perform Darshan. Lined up below the pavilions on the left is a procession of four gopis with pots on their heads. The centre has a flock of peacocks. On the right is a herd of five cows. An undulating line representing hills run along the bottom of the scene. Tufts of grass, some with flowers, are interspersed around the two pavilions and the flowering trees.

Place of Origin

India (south-east, made)


early 19th century (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Painted, dyed and tinsel-printed cotton


Length: 53 cm, Width: 36 cm

Descriptive line

Fragment of a pichwai (hanging for a Krishna temple) in painted, dyed and tinsel-printed cotton, south-east India, early 19th century




Painting; Weaving

Subjects depicted

Cows; Krishna; Herdsmen


Textiles; Religion; Hinduism; Wall coverings

Collection code


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