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Ruler and priest before Shri Nathji flanked by a picchvai for Gopashtami. Nathdwara, circa 1860. Gouache and silver on wasli. 30.8 x 24cm

Picchvai - painted cloth backdrop to the main image in a Vallabhachraya shrine. In this instance it is for Gopashtami as evidenced by the borders with silver cattle on a back background. Gopasthami is the festival celebrating when Krishna graduated from tending calves to cows. On this day cows are decorated, hung with garlands and worshipped.

All images and text © Peter Blohm