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This is a lovely Srinathji Nathdwara painting in antique Pichwai style.
Painted in subtle, soft colors this Pichwai is a beauty. This Pichwai depicts Srinathji (Krishna) with Gopis, the cowherd-girls of Vraja in Vrindavan who were in love with Krishna. Since the Gopis ended up loving the Supreme, their concentration on him was never in want of any disciplinary practice and was most natural. Devotion of the Gopis is therefore regarded of the highest order by Srimad Bhagavatam, one of the eighteen Puranas.
Srinathji is dressed up in traditional Rajasthani dress and enjoying in the company of Gopis under a mango tree and by the side of a lotus pond (see below).
Celestials such as Shiva and Brahma, ever eager to witness the sport of the Supreme lord, are seen hovering over in the sky, wondering on the fortune of Gopis who have the highest Lord under their sway.
The entire scene is framed in an ornately painted border. All colours are natural colors obtained by grinding natural stone of different hues. Real gold-foil is used on the dresses of Gopis and Shrinathji.
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.