Ceremonial Cover (Rumal) Depicting the Rasalila
Scene of Krishna and the cowherdesses.
Artist/maker unknown, India
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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.