Shiva Parivar

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Mahadeva Shiva, the mighty lord of Kashi, Devi Parvati, the embodiment of the power and beauty that runs the world, Ganesha, whose presence destroys all evils and Kartikeya, the head of the army of gods- the family of Shiva, known as Shiva Parivara is a beautiful visual representation of different elements in perfect harmony. The resultant state is that of pure bliss, where the variance between the components is the reason behind the strength of the unit as a whole. The members of Shiva Parivara, all immensely powerful as brought together as a family to represent the Hindu idea of the “Aadarsha Parivara”- the ideal family and as an extension to it- “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”- the world as one big family. 

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Item Code: WRB072
Paata painting from OrissaARTIST:RABI BEHERA
Dimensions 18 inch Height X 12 inch Width
Weight: 300 gm
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On the top of the snow-capped mountain Kailash sits Shiva, adorned like a king- his matted hair pleasingly put inside a crown, making a beautiful Jatamukuta (crown made of tangled hair), which has provided a seat to the river-goddess Ganga, who has been painted in her anthropomorphic form in this Pattachitra. Shiva’s jewelry includes snakes as well exquisite gold ornaments. He is wearing his characteristic Baaghambara (tiger skin) as well as fine clothes in bright red and green color. His moon-like skin is embellished with Tripunda (Shaivite mark) as well as a red dye, visible on his hand. Shiva’s appearance is a paradox- a combination of his role as the householder and an ascetic, both of which no one else can play better than him. Below him, gazing at him lovingly is the Adi- Shakti, the primordial goddess Parvati whose Tapas (austerities) made this divine family possible. Dressed like a newly-wed bride in red and marvelousjewelry, Devi’s beauty knows no bounds. The apple of her eyes- Ganesha and Kartikeya stand beside her. The familiarity the local Indian artists have with the ancient Hindu textual culture is manifested in the presentation of Ganesha- whose rest of the body has been painted in the color of human skin, while his elephant- head, which the texts mention belonged to a white elephant, has been dutifully painted in white. Immersed in the love of his parents and held adoringly by Maa Parvati, Ganesha is dancing, like a happy younger child, while his elder brother Kartikeya charmingly stands, holding a bow and an arrow. Rabi Behera has done a great job painting the background in a vibrant green and showing the trees in full bloom. The entire scene thus seems to radiate the bliss of togetherness that is coursing through the family of Shiva-Parvati. The tasteful presentation by the artist can be appreciated in an even better way as one looks at the distinctive showcasing of Shiva’s hair, the fine tassels of his bracelets flying in the air, the detailing on the snake that is wrapped around his neck, and the agile appearance of the hands of all four deities.

Nandi- literally “the delighted one”, the mount of Shiva, is the perfect addition to this image. When powerful individuals come together in seamless synchronization, what is felt, seen, and experienced is a heavenly joy. 

How is a Pattachitra painting made?

The traditional Pattachitra is a scroll painting that is done on cloth. This is revealed in the name; Pattachitra is a Sanskrit term made from two words i.e. Patta meaning cloth and Chitra meaning picture. The main subject of this painting is portraying Hindu mythological narratives, scenes from religious texts, and folktales. Pattachitra paintings are especially practiced in eastern Indian states such as West Bengal and Odisha, and also in some parts of Bangladesh. This art form is closely related to Shri Jagannath and the tradition of the Vaishnava sect. It is believed that Pattachitra art originated in the 11th century and the people of Odisha practice it even today without any discrepancy. Bengalis use these scroll paintings for ritual purposes (as a visual device) during the performance of a song or Aarti.

Pattachitra paintings are characterized by creative and traditional motifs/designs, decorative borders, and bright colorful applications. The outline of the figure and motifs are bold and sharp. Some common shapes and motifs seen in these paintings are trees, flowers, leaves, elephants, and other creatures. The artists of Odisha and Bengal still use the traditional method of painting which gives a unique look to it altogether.

1. Canvas is prepared

The process of painting a Pattachitra begins by preparing the canvas (patta). Generally, cotton cloth is used for making the canvas. The local artists dip the cotton cloth in a mixture of tamarind seeds and water for a few days. The cloth is then taken out and dried in the sun. Now natural gum is applied over it to stick another layer of cotton cloth on it. Thus a thick layer of cotton cloth is formed. This layered cotton is sun-dried and a paste of chalk powder, tamarind, and gum is applied on both sides. The surface of the cloth is then rubbed with two different stones for smoothening and it is again dried. This process gives the cloth a leathery finish and it is now ready to be painted.


2. Natural colors are made using traditional method

The painters prepare and use vegetable and mineral colors for application in the painting. White color is made from conch shells, black is made by burning coconut shells, Hingula is used for red color, Ramaraja for blue, and Haritala for yellow.

3. Colors are filled in

The artist now makes a double-lined border on all four sides of the canvas. The local artists are so expert in painting that they do not draw figures and motifs with pencil but directly draw them with a brush. The paint brushes that the painters use are made of the hair of domestic animals, a bunch of which is tied to the end of a bamboo stick. The figures are now painted with natural colors using the indigenous brushes. The outline is thickened with black color.


4. Painting is given a finishing

Finally, the painting is varnished/glazed to protect it from any damage and to get a glossy shine on the surface.

The making of a Pattachitra is laborious work and therefore, one painting may sometimes take over a month to complete. Due to their classical look, these paintings are admired by people from all over the world. The artistic skills used in Pattachitra are passed down from one generation to another and thus are preserved to date.

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