Restoration of the Pichwai Painting

This Pichwai Painting is from the Textile collection of Sanskriti Pratisthan, New Delhi; (India).The painting is originated from Rajasthan (India) and is used at the back of idol in a temple. It is based on religious themes and painted on a cloth with natural pigments. The binder used is plant gum. This painting dates back to approximately hundred years. The size of the painting is 8X10 feet and it is made on cotton cloth which is stitched from the center, and single layer of thick backing cloth is given. The use of gold leaf is extensively done, though it is damaged in most of the areas. There are silken strips stitched on all the sides of the painting.

The painting is damaged more at upper area and around the central stitching. The green colour used is verdigris, which has made few areas in the painting charred due to acidity. Most of the areas where green pigment has been used are also lost. Upper corners are heavily damaged and silken strips are lost. Along with dust and dirt, pigments are flaking and are almost lost on the fold marks ( ref Gallery )

The painting was firstly dry-cleaned with low pressure vacuum cleaner and later solvent cleaned with petroleum ether on vacuum table. Than the consolidation of the paint has been done with 2 percent Paraliod B-72.The painting is lined on the other support of the cotton cloth, almost of the same thickness with starch paste as it is not in a condition to take stitching. Finally tears are mended with the same cotton cloth and deceptive retouching has been done. Darning of the silken strips has also been done. ( ref Gallery )

Gallery: Restoration of the Pichwai Painting

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