What is Patachitra Painting?

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What is Patachitra Painting? Blog Image


The first-generation women patachitra artists of West Bengal’s village of Naya sell their work online and are recognised the world over, encouraging future generations to stay in the profession.

About Patachitra Painting:

  • Patachitra, or Pattachitra, is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting based in the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal.
  • It is believed to have originated as early as the 12th century.
  • In the Sanskrit language, "Patta" literally means "cloth" and "Chitra" means "picture".
  • It is known for its intricate details as well as the mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it.
  • Most of these paintings depict stories of Hindu deities.
  • Pattachitra is one of the ancient artworks of Odisha, originally createdfor ritual useand as souvenirs for pilgrims to Puri, as well as other temples in Odisha.
  • Patachitras are a component ofancient Bengali narrative art, originally serving as a visual device during the performance of a song.
  • Making:
    • Pattachitra paintings are made on a special canvas where cotton sarees are layered with tamarind paste and then coated with clay powder. 
    • Traditionally, cotton canvas was used; now, both cotton and silk canvas are used for paintings.
    • Once the canvas becomes sturdy, colours are filled in directlywithout any initial sketches. It is a tradition to complete the borders of the painting first
    • All colours are obtained from natural sources like lamp soot and powdered conch shells.
    • Each painting can take up to weeks or months to be prepared.

Q1: What are Madhubani paintings?

It is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of India and Nepal. It was named after Madhubani District of Bihar, India which is where it originated. The Madhubani paintings is an ancient style of painting that originates 2500 years ago.It depicts various subjects such as Mythological characters, social events like Marriages and Festivals, Sun and Moon etc. Geometrical figures are key elements. Natural dyes are used in its creation. These colours are often bright. It is made on canvas, cloth or cow dung washed hand paper.

Source: Naya’s women patuas are preserving a traditional artform while also securing a livelihood & identity