This Pabuji-ki-Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Bhilwara Rajasthan.
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. Phads are passed down from father to son in the Bhopa family and contain several scenes from the life of Pabuji 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. Superbly drawn.
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. The condition is as can be expected of a painting that has gone on a mission from village to village in the harsh austere conditions that the Bhopa has lived in. It is faded and has many signs of wear and heavy usage. Please examine photos.
SIZE 52" X 78"
Backing cloth has been added to the painting.
Estimated to be from the 1920s-1940s
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Pages 89-90 in the coffee table book 'Indian Textiles' by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard show younger examples of the Phad.
REFERENCE EXAMPLES : 1. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco