PATACHITRA PAINTING (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     2nd May 2024        
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Context: The pioneering female patachitra artists from the village of Naya in West Bengal are now selling their artwork online and gaining global recognition.

Patachitra Painting

  • About: It originates from eastern Indian states like Odisha and West Bengal, dating back to possibly the 12th century.
  • Origin of Term: The term "Patachitra" derives from Sanskrit, with "Patta" meaning "cloth" and "Chitra" meaning "picture".
  • Themes: These paintings are renowned for their intricate details and often depict mythological narratives and folktales, particularly stories of Hindu deities.

o They serve as visual representations of ancient Bengali narrative art, aiding in the storytelling process during performances.

  • Historical Significance:

o Originally, Patachitra paintings were crafted for ritual purposes and as keepsakes for pilgrims visiting temples in Odisha, notably Puri, as well as other temples in the region.

  • Technique and Process:

o Patachitra paintings are meticulously crafted on a specialized canvas, traditionally made by layering cotton sarees with tamarind paste and clay powder.

o Both cotton and silk canvases are now used for these paintings.

o Artists typically begin by completing the borders before filling in colors directly without prior sketches.

o All colors utilized are derived from natural sources such as lamp soot and powdered conch shells.

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