A Joyous Festival: Phad Painting by Kritika Joshi

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Size : Medium
Dimensions : H: 10.5(in) by W: 13(in)
Medium : Natural Colors on Paper

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About the Artwork +

Renowned artist Kritika Joshi's "A Joyous Festival" intricately captures the essence of the ‘Sawan Jhullo’ festival through the enchanting Phad painting technique. This traditional Rajasthani art form, dating back centuries, beautifully marries vivid colors and captivating narratives. The lively depiction of a man and woman on the swing challenges gender conventions, while female attendants or maidservants encircle them, creating a harmonious contrast. The vibrant water body in the foreground reflects cultural significance, and the backdrop showcases diverse tree motifs. With its rich color palette, meticulous patterns, and cultural storytelling, this Phad painting brings to life the festive spirit and transcends tradition in a splendid canvas of celebration.

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Kritika Joshi

Kritika is a distinguished member of the renowned Joshi family, who have been the foremost custodians and practitioners of Phad painting for an astonishing seven centuries. As the 30th generation of her family dedicated to this traditional art form, Kritika carries forward a rich and storied legacy.

Having graduated from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Kritika has not only mastered the art of Phad painting but has also actively engaged with both private and non-profit organizations to promote this craft. Her efforts include conducting workshops and organizing exhibitions featuring Phad painting and related textiles. Some notable collaborations include partnerships with institutions such as Craft Village in Delhi, Amity University, and Chitrashala in Bhilwara, where she has contributed to the preservation and propagation of Phad painting. Kritika's commitment to her heritage and the broader artistic community is a testament to her dedication and passion for Phad artistry.



Phad art is a style of traditional folk painting, practiced in the state of Rajasthan, India. Known for its vivid colors and intricate details, Phad paintings serve as visual narratives that depict stories from epics, folklore, and religious texts. The term ‘Phad’ refers to the large scrolls or banners on which these stories are painted. Traditionally, it is not made for art sake, but to serve as ‘portable temples’ to the deities of the Rebari tribe. History and Tradition The origins of Phad painting can be traced back over 700 years ago to the Joshi family in Shahpura and Bhilwara, Rajasthan. However, the artists in the family believe that this art form has existed for a hundred thousand years. This folk art form is primarily associated with the Rebari tribe and Bhopas (priests in the tribe) follow the tradition of traveling and singing about the epics painted in the Phad, from village to village. The tradition of Phad painting is largely centered around the stories of Pabuji and Devnarayan, revered deities in Rajasthan's local folklore. The scrolls were used by the Bhopas during religious ceremonies and community gatherings, where they would unroll the Phad and narrate the stories, often accompanied by music and song. Technique and Details Phad painting involves a meticulous process, starting from scrolls made from hand-woven cotton fabric, which is first soaked overnight and then stretched on a wooden frame. The fabric is then treated with a mixture of rice paste and gum to create a smooth, durable surface for painting. The drawings are done using charcoal or a light pencil and then colored with natural vegetable dyes. The stories depicted in Phad paintings usually revolve around heroic tales, divine exploits, and legendary feats. Characters are portrayed with expressive facial features and dynamic poses. However, the scenes are not linear or chronological and work on the principles of ‘horror vacui’. The protagonist looms over the composition and place gets primacy over time. The colors used in Phad paintings also have symbolic meaning—red for valor and strength, green for nature and life, yellow for knowledge, and blue for divinity. Artists often work collaboratively, with one person sketching the outlines and others filling in the colors and details. 

Product Details

A Joyous Festival: Phad Painting by Kritika Joshi
Kritika Joshi
Art Style
Natural Colors
10.5 in(H) X 13 in(W)
People, Royal, Nature, Tree
Red, Yellow, Green, Blue
Country of Origin
Rajasthan, India

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