Reviving The Lost Tradition Of Rajasthan’s Beautiful Pichvai Art In Mumbai

Reviving The Lost Tradition Of Rajasthan’s Beautiful Pichvai Art In Mumbai

It is often said that we shouldn’t dwell in the past, but if doing exactly that becomes a way reconnecting with our lost traditions and roots, dwell on. A riot of tradition, culture, music, and art, Rajasthan is home to various art forms and rich artisanal traditions including one of the most exquisite styles of painting. The Pichvai paintings of Nathdwara – a well-known temple town near Udaipur, is carefully preserved in the confines of temples, but will be showcased in Mumbai at an exquisite art display.

Curated by art enthusiast and designer of Delhi-based women’s wear brand Ruh, ‘Pichvai: Tradition and Beyond’ is a collection of over 3,000 pieces made by Rajasthan’s best pichvai artists. Dating back to the 17th century, these luxuriously detailed and intricate paintings depict the various avatars, seasons and moods of Lord Krishna throughout the season, while the traditional Nathdwara style paintings depict various temple scenes. The collection also consists of various styles of Pichwais, some inspired by the minimalistic approach of the Kota-style paintings, some by the miniature paintings characterized by portraiture on layered handmade paper called Basli,and the Deccan style of paintings that are coveted for their exceptional visual language, using gold and silver foil on indigo cotton instead of the traditional stone colors of the Nathdwara style.

Although Pichwai is a celebrated art form, over the years like other indigenous Indian art forms, Pichwai too has lost its audience due to a lack of funding. While the families produced this artwork extensively, the younger generation were disillusioned by it and moved on to explore more contemporary art forms. Having grown up admiring Pichvai paintings, Pooja Singhal’s on a mission to orchestrate the revival of this rich art form. Through her initiative, ‘Pichvai: Tradition and Beyond’, Pooja is encouraging artists by providing a platform to support and sustain them. Reinterpreting and contextualizing the traditional art form, Pooja hopes to cultivate a modern and contemporary audience for it.

To be hosted at Mumbai’s Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi, the exhibition will open to the public on April 5–drop by before April 15 to soak in the rich art legacy of Nathdwara.

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