Based in: Udaipur
Born into an artistic family in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, Manish Soni learnt to paint from his father and grandfather, the pichwai artist Badrilal Chitrakar. Soni’s works, created using natural pigments and squirrel hair brushes, are similar to Rajasthani miniature paintings despite being painted in the Pahari style. The artist's work is a part of collections in India, the US and Europe. He also starred in a film about the 18th century miniature painter Nainsukh, produced by the Kunsthaus Zürich.
The artist currently lives and works in UdaipurThe word Pichwai has its roots in the Sanskrit pich (behind) and wai (hanging). A traditional art form that emerged in the 17th Century at the Nathdwara temple in Rajasthan, Pichwais are intricate paintings dedicated to Shrinathji and are typically hung behind the idol of the deity in local shrines. These elaborately handpainted artworks celebrate the different moods and expressions of Krishna, and mostly depict temple rituals like the adornment (shringaar) of Shrinathji according to the seasons or festivals in the Pushtimarg calendar: Janamashtami and Gopashtami, for example. A popular depiction of Krishna found in Pichwais is the Chappan Bhog (a feast of 56 delicacies) rendition as an offering to the deity. Elements of the Indian monsoon like the peacock, the lotus, and even his beloved cows are featured prominently and repeatedly.
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