‏ Detail of a palampore (wall hanging or bed cover)

19th century

Museum of Art & Photography

Museum of Art & Photography
Bangalore, India

Trade textiles like chintz and palampores were produced in Northwestern and Southeastern part of India (formerly Coromandel Coast) for the European market particularly from the 17th century to 19th century and were used as wall hangings, bed covers, coverlets and clothing. Kalamkari (penwork - dyes are applied with hand using a bamboo pen or with a block) was one of the techniques which was used by artisans to achieve layers of colors and patterns. With white cotton cloth as the base, botanical motifs on palampores are dyed in reds, blues, yellows and greens. Iran was one of the ports through which cloth that was exported from India would travel to Europe.

Emerging from the center of a rocky mound is a tree of life with entwined branches. Peacocks symmetrically surround the branches and face towards or away from each other. The borders contain floral garland borders which are common in palampores from the 19th century. Most textile panels with tree of life patterns were imported to Portugal and France and later to Southeast Asian, Persian and African markets.


  • Title: ‏ Detail of a palampore (wall hanging or bed cover)
  • Creator: Unknown Maker(s)
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Location: Coramandel Coast, made for the European market
  • Physical Dimensions: 262 x 164 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Textile
  • Type: Textile
  • Rights: Courtesy of the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP)
  • Medium: Cotton, hand applied or painted, mordant dyed and resist dyed
  • Museum No.: TXT.00864
  • Department: Textiles, Craft and Design

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