Kundal – Relief Painting

Today the Kundal painting technique in Central Asia is only practiced in Tajikistan. The first Kundal paintings can be found on buildings from the 14th century. Kundal developed into an independent painting style in the 15th century. A combination of floral and geometric patterns is typical.

Glue is applied to wood or another smooth surface, fabric is laid on it and glue is applied to it again. While it is still drying, a pattern is drawn on it. Then plaster and glue are dissolved in boiling water, and the mass is applied to the drawing. When the mass has dried, the next layer of plaster-glue mixture is added. This creates a relief. After that, gold leaf is put on the artwork and at the end the picture is painted in color and brushed with oil. Layers of glue are repeatedly applied in between.

Source: “The golden treasury of the Tajiks”, Hamrochon Sarifi

Kundal Master in Istaravshan (Tajikistan): Raqibov Karim