Paintings are one of the oldest forms of storytelling in the world. Pattachitra art is
one of the oldest forms of art from Pattachitra – giving the artform its name.
This art style was used to depict images of Hindu mythological stories and
fascinating characters. You can spot Pattachitra art with its distinctive bold
colors and Italian craftsmanship. If you want to add a unique piece of Indian
art to your home, there is nothing better to choose than a Pattachitra
paintings incorporate Indian customs, rituals, and values in a unique and
beautiful way that celebrates the Hindu faith and religion. This traditional
art has evolved to appear in clothing and accessories, becoming living art that
you can incorporate into your everyday life.
looking at the heritage behind Pattachitra paintings and what makes them so
appealing. If you’re looking to add a Pattachitra painting to your home, you
can explore our range of artwork here.
origin story for Pattachitra paintings is covered in legend and mythology. It’s
closely connected to the story of Jagannath. On the full moon of May or June,
also known as the birthday of Jagannath, the deities from his temple were given
a ritualistic bath to keep away the summer heat.
Jagannath-Subhada-Baalabhadra In Padma Shringar
this ritual, thousands of people would witness the procession of bathing, also
known as ‘Snana Yatra’. Jagannath and his brother and sister are taken for a
ceremonial path through this procession. As a result of this bath, the three
deities develop a fever that lasts for 15 days, known as ‘Anasar’. For these 15
days, devotees are unable to see their god.
Shri Ganesha Lakshmi Yantra
paintings originally emerged of these three deities, giving devotes a means to
worship them when the idols were kept away for the 15 days following the
bathing. This style of art was originally known as ‘Anasar Patti’ in honor of
the 15 days of seclusion before becoming known as Pattachitra.
‘pattachitra’ means cloth painting and comes from the two words ‘pata’ and
‘chitra’. This type of art form is known as scroll painting and was typically
carried out on cloth. Pattachitra
paintings come from Orissa in the 5th century. The earliest records of
Pattachitra art come from the village of Puri. Pattachitra art is still popular
in this region today. The craftsmen behind this artform are known as
‘Maharanas’ and ‘Mohapatras’.
was originally established by King Narasingha Deva 1 of the 13th century
Eastern Ganga dynasty. The artists who live in this village trace their origins
back to the Savar tribe.
inspiration for the original Pattachitra paintings came from the architecture
and temples around Orissa. The stories of the village were told through
paintings, with the craftsmen narrating the stories through detailed paintwork.
These scroll paintings were originally used for ritual purposes and were given
as souvenirs to pilgrims heading to Puri and temples in Odisha.
Jagannath and Vaishnavas tribes are widely credited for acting as the early
patrons of the Pattachitra art form. Hindu gods were the main source of
inspiration for paintings, such as Hanuman, Krishna, and Shiva. Hindu goddess also appears in the stories depicted in these paintings, including the goddess
Parvati and Sita. The stories from Hindu scriptures in artform through
Pattachitra paintings originated in Orissa, it’s also popular across West
Bengal. The main difference between the Pattachitra paintings made in Orissa is
that they are made using cotton fabrics, while silk is used by the Maharanas
and Mohapatras in West Bengal. In West Bengal, Pattachitra paintings were used
as a visual aid during the performances of songs and musical pieces.
makes Pattachitra paintings distinctive and easy to spot is how the craftsmen
behind the paintings blend the signature elements of folk stories and classic
art. While the overarching feeling will always be towards the folk stories and
mythology that inspires the stories captured on the paintings, they also have a
classical feel to them.
also spot Mughal influences amongst the Pattachitra art that has been
incorporated into apparel and accessories. These paintings will have
distinctive dark lines with natural dyes and colors that are naturally derived
from fruits and vegetables.
Pattachitra painting tells a story, with the background usually being simply to
allow the characters at the heart of the story to be the focal point of the
painting. Classical elements, like flower motifs, are commonly incorporated
into these paintings to make them more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
thing that you’ll spot in every Pattachitra painting is a border, which usually
relates to the story being told at the center of the painting. Beyond the paint
used for the painting and the original textile, no other embellishments are
used on Pattachitra paintings.
is a form of living art, making it no surprise that Pattachitra painting has
found its way into numerous saris designs. These paintings are typically
incorporated into saris made using cotton and silk textiles. Adding Pattachitra
paintings is a quirky way of giving the traditional saris a refresh and making
them feel both contemporary and traditional all at once.
apparel, Pattachitra paintings are typically incorporated using bright uses to
give the clothing a vibrant color palette and to narrate the stories in
jewel-tone hues. Although Pattachitra paintings are becoming increasingly
popular for saris, you can also see them in everyday accessories, including
household items. Pattachitra paintings are finding their way into virtually
every form of living art, whether it’s clothing, accessories, or stationary items.
painting is unique, not only in India but across the world, due to its ritual
significance and the uniqueness of its character. Both the Pattachitra art made
in Odisha and West Bengal have been awarded Geographical Indication tags.
Raghurajpur town, hailed as the original home of Pattachitra art, was named by
the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage to be a ‘heritage
village’ in 2000.
have been numerous attempts in recent years to revive the popularity – and
tradition – of Pattachitra art by introducing it to younger generations who
aren’t as familiar with the tradition behind it. One way of achieving this is
through incorporating Pattachitra art into apparel and accessories, making it a
form of living art that takes on an even greater meaning.
Bengal, Pattachitra artists are known as ‘Chitrakar’, with most of them living
in the Naya village in the Medinipur district. Amongst the best-known artists
of Pattachitra art is Khandu and Radha Chitrakar and their seven children.
Their daughter Monimala, in particular, is known for her signature use of bold
and primal colors, which she used to develop her own style of Pattachitra art.
Pattachitra art is registered under two different names depending on its
origins. Those styled after the tradition and motifs of Odisha art are known as
‘Orrisa Pattachitra’, while its West Bengal equivalent is known as ‘Bengal
the colors used to create Pattachitra paintings are natural. It’s not unusual
for seashells to be powdered before being soaked and heated to create a
white-colored paste. Black is made using an earthen plate that is smoked over a
burning wick. Natural powder and everything from stones and green leaves are
used to create more vibrant colors.
a stone found in Orissa, is powdered to create a red pigment, while yellow is
made using the Harital stone. Blue is made using a stone called
Khandanella. These are the most
significant colors within Pattachitra art.
art is still closely tied to the sculpture and mythological stories that
inspired the original scroll art centuries ago. It’s not uncommon to find
Pattachitra artwork with nature – particularly the tree of life – at its heart.
scholar, Dr. M Krasa, summed up Pattachitra art best in his 1984 book ‘Pata-Paintings
of Orissa’. He said that “the paintings speak the language of their creators,
they give realistic expression, a clear symbol and humorous details. They are
familiar to the eye, close to the heart, bringing joy, expressing life”.
want a unique but traditional way of incorporating Indian mythology and
folklore into your home, Pattachitra art is one of the most expressive ways of
doing that. Every piece tells a unique story, whether you’re drawn to the bold
and vibrant colors or the intricacy of the details behind the painting. Every
Pattachitra painting tells a story.
picture tells a thousand words, and none does it more beautifully than a
Pattachitra painting. You can shop our extensive collection of Pattachitra art here, including paintings of various sizes to
display across your home.
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