Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery
RAMDEVJI – KI PHAD – Rarely found complete – From the 1940s-1950s
This Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Bhilwara Rajasthan of unknown age. 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.
This Phad is of the legendary king Ramdevji
[This is not a Phad of King Pabuji – but of another King]
Phads are passed down from father to son in the Bhopa family and contain several scenes from the life of a legendary king 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. 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 artistic 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.
Rarer than Pabuji ki Phad.
162 x 52 inches approximately – not including the additional cloth bands on both ends.
Estimated to be from the 1940s – 1950s
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Pages 89-90 in the coffee table book ‘Indian Textiles’ by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard show younger examples of the Phad.
OTHER REFERENCE EXAMPLES : 1. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user. Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections. Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.