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Asian art

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Autumn Moon festival (Sharad purnima)

mid 19th century


Unknown Artist


A 'pichhavai' is a large painting produced to be hung in a Pushti Marg (Path of Grace) shrine. The Pushti Marg is a Hindu sect that focuses on the worship of Krishna. This shrine hanging depicts the 'Sharad purnima' festival, which takes place during the Autumn full moon. The image shows Krishna in the form of Shri Nathji with his hand raised in dance, and surrounded by milkmaids (gopis). His feet pointing to each side and his rounded face both suggest a mid-nineteenth century date. The white background behind Krishna is a curtain the colour of moonlight appropriate for the time of year and the festival of the Autumn moon. In the starry sky are six flying boats holding gods and sages. The inset images below the main one represent people and events connected with the Pushti Marg sect. The large lower panel displays the Govardhan 'puja' (when Krishna’s defeat of Indra is celebrated) on the left. On the right the 'gopis' gather around Krishna. At the bottom of the painting is a narrow strip of water filled with lotus leaves and flowers. This represents the Yamuna River, the site of many of Krishna’s life events.


Place where the work was made

Nathdwara Rajasthan India


mid 19th century

Media category


Materials used

shrine hanging (pichhavai); opaque watercolour on cotton


271.8 x 251.5 cm


Purchased 2011


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2009–10, Sydney, 2010, 87 (colour illus.).

Emma Glyde, Look, 'To the moon', pg22-23, Sydney, Mar 2013, 23(colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Look, 'One hundred flowers: Recent Asian acquisitions', pg. 34-35, Sydney, Nov 2011, 35 (colour illus.).