Pattachitra is an age-old aspect of life in Orissa. It is the name given to drawings made using endemic pigments and techniques on a fabric canvas prepared locally by hand. The one you see on this page has a tussar pata-astra, a homegrown variety of silk whose unmistakable ivory colour has acquired a sunset tint post tamarind-gum and chalk (khadi lagi) treatment. The theme of the painting is spiritual in keeping with patachitra tradition. It features Lord Rama with Lord Hanuman situated in His heart, Lord Krishna with His beloved Radha in the foreground, and the tilak-graced countenance of Lord Jagannath in three central panels (from the bottom upwards). Episodes from the life of Purushottam Rama has been illustrated in a series of smaller circular panels that run laterally along the chitra as well as along the bottom. Zooming in on the panels would enable you to appreciate the level of detail incorporated with the help of such rudimentary technique.
Speaking of technique, the finished pata-astra is first demarcated into panels, which is followed by sketching with conch-water (tipana). This is crucial to the finish that emerges later on. What ensues is a dynamic technique that almost amounts to ritual - luga pindha (painting on the divine raiment), then alankara lagi (painting on the divine ornaments). Finally, the work is finished with thick black colouring wherever required (mota kala), then delicate outlining to complete the details (saru kala). In other words, the chitra before you is a high-precision work that has taken an eye-watering proportion of time and skill and labour to be made. The most wondrous aspect of this painting is the composition of the Jagannath mukhmandal, with each feature made of tinier, more detailed panels depicting the Lord Vishnu.
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Water Color Painting on Tussar Silk22 inch x 40.5 inch
Folk Art From The Temple Town Puri (Orissa)Artist: Rabi Behra
Item Code: PR61
Best Deal: $746.25
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