• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2024

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 493

    A picchvai for the Gopashtami Festival


    Price Realised  


    A picchvai for the Gopashtami Festival
    India, Rajasthan, late 19th century
    With Shri Nathji at center wearing a green brocade chakdarwagha, beaded necklaces and lotus garland, a large peacock-feather headdress, holding the lakut and lotuses in his right hand, backed by a patterned white background, with the golden pandan box, betel leaves and covered pitcher of holy Jamuna water at his feet, a row of garlanded cows bearing auspicious handprints at bottom, all within a floral yellow border
    Opaque and gold pigments on textile
    59 x 43¼ in. (150 x 110 cm.)

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    Picchvai such as the present example are often commissioned for either a public temple or private shrine on the occasion of a holiday or festival. The present example was made in honor of Gopashtami, the festival that commemorates the day that Krishna as Shri Nathji graduated to cowherder from a herder of calves. On this day, herders bring hundreds of cows and their calves to Nathadwara, where the cows are beautifully decorated for the occasion. They are painted with designs similar to those in the present picchvai, their horns are gilded, and some wear ankle bracelets and peacock-feather crowns.