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An antique style Pichwai painting of Cows of Srinathji (Krishna).
Srinathji is closely associated with cows as their protector and nurturer. Being associated with Srinathji, cows are considered divine and an abode to all the demigods of Hindu pantheon.
The cows of Vrindavan longed to be tended by Srinathji and would rush to him whenever he played his flute. They yielded nectar-like milk and lead a fearless life under the protection of Supreme. Cows are pious by default and the ones which were personally tended by Srinathji were so fortunate that even celestials such as Brahma, Shiva and others considered themselves purified by having a glimpse of these cows.
This is what this Pichwai painting is all about.
The Pichwai painting is rendered on a cotton cloth and framed in an ornate hand-painted border. All colours are natural colors obtained by grinding natural stone of different hues.
The word Srinath is a combination of two words ‘Sri’ and ‘Nath’. Sri means Lakshmi (consort of Lord Vishnu or Krishna) and Nath means Master. So ‘Srinath’ is a name of Krishna which means Master or Husband of Lakshmi. The suffix ‘Ji’ is commonly used at the end of names in North India, Rajasthan in particular, to ascribe respect to the person being referred to.
Pichwai paintings only have Srinathji for their theme and the scenes painted are mostly from Srinathji’s loving sports in Vrindavan with Gopis and cowherds.
Pichwai art emerged when the cloth-sheet serving as a background behind the statue of Srinathji was beautified with Rajasthani style paintings created by devotee-artists. In-fact the word Pichwai is a derivative of the Hindi word ‘Peeche’ which means Behind.
The painters, in their dedication to Srinathji went on creating new background cloth-sheets painted with various themes for different occasions. The discarded sheets were preserved and thus started a whole genre of Rajasthani art called Pichwai and alongside emerged a team of devoted artists who would dedicate their art in service of Srinathji and keep painting for generations that continues till date. Many of these artists are still ardent devotees themselves and lead a very simple life.
Srinathji’s temple is located in Nathdwara, a small town in Rajasthan. The elaborate set of customs and procedures of offering loving service to Srinathji were founded by Vallabhcharya, an ardent devotee of Srinathji, great Sanskrit scholar and a philosopher. He founded the ‘Pushti Marg’ of devotional service to Lord Krishna wherein the Supreme Being is conceived of not as all-powerful, hard to access Brahman of the Vedas but a small, loving child in want of his devotee’s loving service. Srinathji is therefore pampered with choicest of delicacies, rich garments by doting devotees throughout the day with elaborate rituals and procedures.
All our Pichwai paintings for sale are rendered on cotton cloth and hand-painted by traditional Pichwai artists.