Pattachitra and its evolution

Posted by Ethnic_God 26/12/2017 0 Comment(s)

Art and craft have always helped a region gain recognition. Traditional art forms have highlighted the significance of a place. They have a major contribution in the way the society has evolved over time. Art speaks of the history of a place, the lives of the people and the culture they practice. It says about the folk tales and mythical stories related to the place. It is interesting how almost every art form has some historical or mythical relevance attached to it. One such famous and beautiful work is that of Pattachitra art.

  Raghurajpur, a village in the district of Puri, Odisha is the home to the beautiful Pattachitra artwork. Pattachitra is the Sanskrit term which refers to the painting done on cloth. Patta is the canvas/cloth and Chitra means the art. This traditional art form depicts some of the finest stories related to Hindu mythology thereby making it popular all over the globe.

  Pattachitra paintings are made by Chitrakaras (artists). They are skilled specifically for the making of the Pattachitra paintings. Almost every household in Raghurajpur village is engaged in this traditional profession. The men and the women of the house have an equal contribution towards the making of the painting. The women prepare the glue, canvas and the colors for the painting. The men draw the initial lines and give the finishing touch to the painting. Pattachitra paintings have intricate designs and are drawn with such fineness that the images can be seen clearly even from a distance. The artists put in several productive hours to create these beautiful paintings. The process of making these paintings requires a lot of patience and skill. Prior to the painting, the canvas is prepared. The canvas is usually cotton/silk cloth. The surface of the canvas is coated with a mixture of chalk and gum. The gum that is used here is extracted from the tamarind seeds. After the coating dries up, the surface of the canvas becomes leathery in texture and then the Chitrakara begins with his work. He first draws the border designs and then moves on to the actual theme. The most common themes are taken from the Jagannath and the Vaishnava sect. The paintings depict the scenes from mythological stories about Lord Jagannath and Lord Krishna. After the initial outlines are drawn, the colors are filled in. Bright colors such as red, yellow, indigo, black and white are used. The colors are prepared from natural sources like vegetables and minerals. The Chitrakara uses paint brushes that are made from the hairs of domestic animals. The hairs are held in a bunch and are tied to one end of a bamboo stick. The size of the brush depends on how much amount of hair is used. An interesting fact to note here is that almost every article required for the painting comes from natural sources. The final outlines are drawn and the paintings are ready. One last step involved is the application of lacquer on the surface of the painting and exposing the back side of the painting to the fire. This gives the painting a glossy appearance.

  It is believed that these paintings existed at the time of the establishment of the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri. So the origin of Pattachitra paintings can be traced back to those times. Pattachitra painting of the deities of Jagannath temple is worshiped during the ‘ritual bath' of the deities. The deities are replaced with Pattachitra painting.

  Pattachitra paintings have survived the blows of varying taste in art and still remain in popularity due to the mythological relevance they carry. These paintings serve as the means of a livelihood for many. With time, many art forms tend to lose their importance and popularity but Pattachitra paintings have so far been out of the list. It is the interest in traditions that keep such art forms alive and thanks to the Chitrakaras who have devoted their time and energy to keep the tradition going. In the present day, Pattachitra art schools have been set up to provide professional training to many people. With trade and commerce flourishing, Pattachitra has been made available to people all over the world. It is our attempt to portray this excellent Pattachitra artwork in apparels. So what are you waiting for, take a tour of the apparels we have that suit your taste. Pick up your style today!

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