This Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Bhilwara Rajasthan of unknown age. Used as a backdrop mural for devotional performances by 'Bhopas' who are invited to celebrations and festivals to narrate the story of the Lok Deva or folk gods.
[This is not a Phad of Pabuji - but of another King - possibly DevNarayan]
Phads are passed down from father to son in the Bhopa family and contain several scenes from the life of a legendary king and is used to illustrate the stories during the Bhopa's performance and each Phad is used over 3-4 generations.
This Phad was acquired from one of the few surviving Phad artists who continue to practice their ancestral art. When Bhopas commission a new Phad the old ancestral Phad is usually consecrated and laid down in holy waters. In a few cases the Phad artist requests that the old Phad be retained for artisitic purposes. This is one such Phad. Colors used are all natural colors. The Canvas panels used are narrower as only narrow looms were available in the past.
Estimated to be from the 1950s
64" X 53"
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Pages 89-90 in the coffee table book 'Indian Textiles' by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard show younger examples of the Phad.
OTHER REFERENCE EXAMPLES : 1. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Read an Article on Phads here