Pichwai Paintings

Essay by amandanCollege, UndergraduateB, April 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Visual Analysis II


 The above artwork is idealized and expressionistic as the artist wanted to make it as perfect as possible according to the prevailing values of their culture. He appeals to subjective responses of beholder through exaggeration of form or expression.

 They have used colors to paint on rough cloth.

different objects.

 The small figures of Shrinathji on the border are not overlapping. There is some overlap between the clothes and jewelry it still looks like a two dimensional painting.

 The artist used different colors for different purposes. As he used dark colo rs for background while bright colors for the figure of Shrinathji.


 The art form is visually balanced as it shows equal visual weight on both the sides of the central vertical axis.

As we look at it, we can also see that it is symmetrically balanced by repeating shapes in the same position on either side of the central vertical axis.

 The figure of Shrinathji placed in center of the art work has been made larger compared to the other figures of Shrinathji on the border of the art work. This make the centrally placed figure, the focal point of the art work. So whenever a viewer look at it, the naturally goes to the large scale figure of Shrinathji.

 The center figure dominates the other figures, as it is the main focal point of the art work.

 The artist showed the different forms of Shrinathji on the border using small scale but he has given enough emphasis on these figures also.

 The colors have been used according to the concept of showing Shrinathji in a particular


 The dark and cool colors have been used for the background of center figure which recede into the background. While bright and warm colors have been used for the clothes and jewelry as these colors come out of the background.

 The border around the centrally placed figure of Shrinathji is golden which is according to the culture of the pichwai artwork.

 The colors have been used realistically and also to convey emotions. The warm and the cool colors are visually balanced.


 The main idea of the above artwork is to show the cultural significance of Pichwai paintings. The painting has been made to show the different forms of Shrinathji. The painting is a Pichwai artwork in which generally the Shrinathji is the main figure.

 So the art form is mythological folk art, as we can see from the above artwork that it mainly focuses on expressing the Shrinathji as a manifestation of Krishna, hence personifies Shrinathji as a prince with jewels and luxuries.

 The other purpose of the painting is to narrate tales of Shri Krishna to the illiterate.


Visual Analysis III

The following art is a traditional form of fabric painting whose simple expressionist style hides layers of spiritual significance and symbolism. Using dark rich hues, concepts, and composition this painting wants to show Lord Krishna's Leela. It employs flamboyant embroidery on cloth which is hand spun, woven in applique. The silhouttes are dark and stitching incorporates colors such as blue, green and yellow. The lines in most of the part are vertical, thick and somewhere curved as they are outlines of human figures, animals and trees. The shapes are mostly organic, showing trees, human faces and scenery. Texture can be seen in many portions like the leaves of trees, grasses, lotuses, and outfit of gopis.

The main feature of this painting is repetition of art forms and figures. This gives us a sense of rhythm and unity. Through this, the artist wants to show that Krishna is everywhere. If we join the position where Krishna is present, we can see that it makes a

star, while the gopis are on the periphery of the circle circumscribing it. The artist also wants to shift our focus towards the center by showing distinguished images of Krishna and Radha, which are different from those surrounding them. So, the artist wants to emphasize the Ras Leela through it. We can also observe that the painting is symmetric with respect to vertical axis passing through the middle. The deep blue colors of Krishna and floor is balanced by the bright yellow and green colors of trees and grasses. There are also peacocks and flowers present in the painting through which we can see that the artist wants to show how the whole world, including all living creatures, flora and fauna, is Lord Krishna's leela. The artwork is decorated through embroidery of leaves on the sides of the painting. The greenery and the river indicates that the Ras Leela is performed on the banks of River Yamuna.

The paintings usually depict scenes from the life of Srinathji, expressing the moods of different seasons and festivals. The patches of bright stars in the night symbolize that it is a night of Poornima. Each pichvai painting is considered to be an offering to Srinathji, the seven-year-old balaswarup or child manifestation of Lord Krishna. The artists paint with a sense of deep devotion. Dark clouds, dancing peacock, Kadamba tree etc. symbolize Lord Krishna in these paintings. The pichhwais are changed from time to time depending upon the day, season and occasion to create different moods and ambience. Lord Krishna's personality was so popular and powerful that everything associated with him has b een immortalized in art, literature and culture of India.

Critical Appreciation

The paintings not only form a devotional backdrop for the temple, but also serve the purpose of outlining the religious stories to a largely illiterate population.They delight the eyes with the richness of colour and delicacy of execution.