Pattachitra is one of the ancient artworks of Odisha, popularly used as a souvenir for people visiting the temple
town of Puri and is characterized by depictions of a mix of both classical and
folk elements, but majorly focusing on the folk criteria. The creativity of
Pattachitra paintings depict mainly mythological themes, taking inspiration
from Lord Jagannatha and the Vaishnava sect. This Narasimha painting depicts
all the iconic attributes of a beautiful pattachitra using bright colours that
make the protagonist stand out with its accurate qualities. This painting
depicts the scene where Lord Narasimha (Vishnu’s incarnation) won over Lord
Brahma’s boon to Hiranyakashipu that the demon
could neither be killed by a man nor by an animal; neither at day nor at
night; neither at home nor outside; neither on the ground nor in the sky;
neither by a weapon nor by supernatural powers,
by contradicting all the conditions in his avatar and way of killing.
Real pattachitras are shown with a
negligible background, focusing just on the scenes to be portrayed. Similar to
the way shown here, Lord Narasimha takes a posture as if sitting on a throne
with Hiranyakashipu lying on his laps and Prahlada in obeisance near his feet
and background barely visible. Lord Vishnu incarnated in the form of the body
of a human and the face of a lion (Narasimha) and killed the demon Hiranyakashipu
at dusk at the threshold of his house by making lie on his lap and executing
him with his claws. The wide-open eyes in red, blood-filled tongue and long
pointed teeth protruding out, hair dishevelled around the face are an indication
of the ferocious expression of Lord Narasimha.
The painter has used a beautiful
interplay of colours while painting every feature of this art; the blue aureole
behind the head is symbolic of Narasimha’s divinity. The scene seems to be
taking place under a temple arched background filled with floral motifs and a
deep green coloured frame painted in an alluring pattern of flowers and leaves.
If you are a core Vishnu bhakt, have this Narasimha pattachitra art on your
wall space for beautiful and spiritual ornamentation.
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