Jaipur Garment Painting, Red Lehenga

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This miniature gouache painting was created in Jaipur, India on retired government currency, depicting a vibrant red Lehenga skirt rooted in the Mughal empire of the 12th century, embellished with blue circles on the pleats, and a green waistband.
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Intricately detailed and lush with color, these fascinating pieces are original creations that offer commentary and insight into a culture thousands of years into the making. 

On a trip through the northern state of Rajasthan, India 10 years ago, Paula and Taras came across an artist working in the streets of Jaipur, painting fashion templates in gouache onto retired government stamped currency notes left from the 19th century. 

The paper itself is fragile, and a tea-stained brown in color. Stamped clearly with the government’s seal in indigo ink, the designs are accompanied by handwritten notes in what we believe to be Rajasthani script, and a signature at the bottom. Each garment is gilded, identified, and named to the best of our ability.