HomeOpen AccessCreating with open-access: a 19th century Pahari Painting, embroidered by Akash Patwal

Creating with open-access: a 19th century Pahari Painting, embroidered by Akash Patwal

As children, many of us have demanded the impossible from our parents. One of India’s most lovable deities, Krishna, was not too different. A 19th century Pahari painting (now in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art) documents one such episode where Krishna demands the moon to play with. Like any other ingenious parent, Yashoda offers him a reflection of the moon. Take a look at the painting [high-resolution version here]

Krishna Reaching for the Moon c. 1820, Cleveland Museum of Art, CC0.

The incredible thing about this painting is, that it is available under a CC0 license*. On Mothers Day, we decided to share this endearing image of love between mothers and children on Instagram. A month later, we are delighted to receive this image of a beautiful embroidered version of the painting.

Hand-embroidered by Akash Patwal.

The only thing better that open-access museum collections? New art inspired by them! 

We are in awe of this embroidered piece – which, don’t you think makes a fabulous gift? The creator, Akash Patwal, a textile design artist, describes the work as “Hand-embroidered on natural dyed cotton using single thread silk, anchor and zari threads”.

Detail from the embroidery by Akash Patwal

Right from the colours to the detailed execution, what is not to love? See more of his work here. Do you notice how the embroidery captures the rustic essence of the painting? Don’t miss the perfect shading and texture of the tree on the top left, the grass or the clothes (the yellow head-drape / dupatta worn by the lady on the left). The clothes, have been embroidered so skilfully, that you can see the ‘folds’ in the costume!

Thank you Akash, for sharing your incredible work with TheHeritageLab


We continue to share OpenAccess art on this website and on our Instagram channel. If you re-work something, share it with us! We’d love to see and spread the inspiration. 

*CC0 : without copyright and licensing restrictions

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