Tree of Life: Phad painting by Kalyan Joshi
Size : Medium
Dimensions : H: 3(ft) by W: 1.7(ft) | H: 36(in) by W; 20(in)
Medium : Natural Colors on Paper
The Phad painting tradition is widely prevalent in the western state of Rajasthan. It is a folk heritage which is part of both the tangible and intangible aspects of our heritage. Traditionally, the Phad paintings were religious and seldom done commercially. However, today we see its commercialization as it is not possible for the artists to survive solely on the basis of commissions from religious Phad. There has been no literary record of the development or even the mention of Phad in the court traditions of the provincial courts of Rajasthan. This is because these paintings were not made for artistic purposes but were religious in nature.
Phad paintings are the most complex and elaborate of the pictorial devices used for story telling in India. They were traditionally used as movie scrolls, with special emphasis on each scene. They narrated the stories of local folk deities such as Pabuji, Devnarayan, Ramdev pir, Dharamraj, etc. These local heroes are different from each other, but are worshipped because of the similar reason that they have all protected their cattle.
The history of Phad paintings date back to 700 years and are of pure indian subcontinental origin. The chitera, or the professional Phad painters developed the art form in the district of Pur, near Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The traditional painters migrated to Shahpura in the 16th century and then to the city of Bhilwara in the 19th century.
Find more about this Living Temple Heritage of Bhilwara here