Ceremonial Cover (Rumal) Depicting the Rasalila

Scene of Krishna and the cowherdesses.

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

Late 18th or early 19th century

Cotton plain weave with silk and metallic thread embroidery in double-satin stitch

24 7/8 x 24 3/4 inches (63.2 x 62.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Embroidered cloths, such as this one, were made by court women of the Himalayan foothills especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They were most often used as coverlets for gifts given on special occasions such as weddings and other lifecycle rituals. Their motifs and images derive from the narrative painting tradition. It is likely that professional painters drew the outlines on the cloth and even suggested the color scheme for the women to embroider.