Pata-chitra Temple with Krishna-Lila Episodes

Pata-chitra Temple with Krishna-Lila Episodes
Availability: Can be backordered
Folk Art from the Temple Town of Puri (Orissa)
Water Color on Patti
Artist Rabi Behera
3.0 feet x 3.4 feet
Item Code: PF69
Price: $490.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 6 to 8 weeks
Advance to be paid now (% of product value): 20%
Balance to be paid once product is ready: 80%
The amount to be tendered as advance to back order this artwork: $98.00
Viewed 11266 times since 1st Mar, 2012
This large size Pata-painting, rendered using just black and yellow on a white background, in typical Orissa Pata-chitra style, most forms being line-drawn pursuing the characteristic iconographic modeling, represents over a hundred iconic visions from Krishna’s life and Lila. Drawn with minute details but with absolute clarity, all episodes, except those in the sanctum and on its inner arms and pediment or lintel, are contained in perfectly drawn medallions and stylistic octagons, the outer ones being larger in size, and those inside the sanctum, smaller. Except those single figures in the twenty-four medallions on the four inner arms, representing four walls of the sanctum, the artist has rendered Krishna’s figures either as engaged in an act, or in others’ company. Barring a Vishnu’s image as reclining on the coils of the great serpent Shesha in the medallion on the top right corner, all other renditions represent one aspect or other of Krishna-lila.

The painting’s lay-out is like a temple’s plan. Its centre consists of the temple’s interior with an elaborate sanctum, various Mandapas – prayer-halls, side-walls, circumambulating passage and Krishna with Gopis enshrining it. The sanctum-sanctorum is an arched chamber carried over beautifully sculpted pillars. It is contained in a square-space with halls on all four sides. In all four halls Krishna has been represented as engaged in Rasa with Gopis. The walls on all four sides have smaller medallions portraying alternately the icons of Radha and Krishna. Successive corners, inside the square, and outside it, have been manipulated with auspicious symbols like Purna-ghata, fish-forms and floral designs. The door-frame’s upper arm : the lintel, and the base arm : threshold, have been adorned with stylized octagons containing, Mithunas : figures of Radha and Krishna engaged in romantic dance. The temple’s superstructure has been conceived as a slanting roof the pediment of which portrays Krishna holding Mount Govardhana on his left hand.

The lay-out’s outer part has been divided into two parts. The bottom part consists of twenty-four decorative octagons containing almost identically in each of them a figure of Krishna flanked on either side by the figure of a Gopi. All medallions have two sets of background, almost identically conceived, one portraying the figures around some kind of tree, and other, a dark night with twinkling stars and a few flower-motifs scattered in the vacant space. The anatomy of Krishna’s figure also varies. In some representations he is in a posture of dance, while in others he is either in ‘tri-bhanga’ : triple curved posture or poised in a plain standing attitude.

Vividly conceived are the episodes portrayed in outer column on four sides symbolic of the outer wall’s upper part or ‘Jangha’. From right to left on the top in the first medallion it portrays Sheshasayi Vishnu; in the second, Krishna’s mother Devaki wedding Vasudeva by laying garland on his neck; in the third, Kansa, Mathura’s demon king attempting at killing his sister Devaki but sparing her on Vasudeva’s prayer; in the fourth, Vasudeva and Devaki in the prison of Kansa; in the fifth, Vishnu appearing in the vision of Vasudeva and Devaki; in the sixth, Krishna’s birth; in the seventh, Vasudeva transporting the child Krishna across the river Yamuna; in the eighth, Vasudeva changes Krishna with Yashoda’s newborn baby; and in the ninth, Kansa threshing the newborn baby of Yashoda on floor for killing it. The identical nine medallions on the bottom represent the episode of Vastra-harana; the two trees transforming back into the form of Yakshas, Mani Griva and Nala Kubara; Krishna lifting Govardhana; Balarama riding on the back of demon Pralamba; Krishna killing horse-demon Kesi; crane-demon Bakasura; python demon Aghasura; bull-demon Vatsa; and subduing Kaliya.

Episodes portrayed in the medallions on the left from top to bottom are : child Krishna sucking demon Putana to death; child Krishna and Balarama in the laps of Nanda and Yashoda; the demon of cyclone Tranavarta fleeing away with child Krishna sleeping in a basket; Krishna destroying the cart-demon Sakatasura; mother Yashoda churning curd for obtaining butter; with his Sakhas Krishna stealing butter; mother Yashoda punishing Krishna for stealing butter; and, Krishna grazing cows in the forest carrying his umbrella. The right side column portrays from top to bottom : Kansa, the Mathura’s demon king, dethroned; Krishna and Balarama confronting Kansa’s demon-wrestlers; Krishna killing elephant demon Kuvalyapitha; Krishna and Radha enjoying swing; snake-charming; Krishna with his favourite Gopis; Krishna in the forest with Gopis; and Krishna taking Radha and Gopis on boating expedition.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

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