Everything You Need to Know about Pattachitra

Everything You Need to Know about Pattachitra

India is home to various kinds of ancient and habitual art forms, and the Pattachitra is one among them. Pattachitra is a kind of ancient painting that is done on cloth materials. The origin of this art form dates back to thousands of years ago. The birthplace of Pattachitra is the Indian state of Odisha.

A Brief Overview of Pattachitra

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The Pattachitra painting has been inspired by the Hindu Mythology and is mainly based upon on the Jagannath and Vaishnava religious group. The Odia craftsmen make the Pattachitra paintings in the old conventional manner, by making use of natural colours. The term 'Patta' implies canvas and the term 'Chitra’ implies painting. So, Pattachitra paintings are done on canvas materials and are represented by colourful pictures and mesmerizing designs.

The History of Pattachitra Paintings

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The roots of the Pattachitra painting lie in the 5th century BC. The paintings are the same as the paintings done on the walls of the religious structures present in the cities of Odisha, including Puri, Konark, and Bhubaneswar.  The places famous for the traditional Patttachitra paintings are – Puri, Raghurajpur, Chikiti, Sonepur, and Paralakhemundi. Pattachitra was initially used for worshipping deities when the temple doors were closed because of a ritual bath hour of the gods. 

Themes of Pattachitra Painting

The lines of the Pattachitra painting are clear, angular, sharp, and bold. The painters (popularly known as Chitrakara in the Odia language) only make close-up views because there are not any detailed backgrounds. All the occurrences are generally viewed in just a single combination. The backgrounds usually showcase red colour with patterns of trees and flowers. The paintings feature unique and attractive borders. They generally showcase Lord Jagannath in the avatar of Lord Krishna. The paintings elaborate the religious stories and folktales of Radha-Krishna and Balabhadra-Subhadra. Some of the paintings even depict the ten beautiful avatars of Lord Vishnu from the Hindu epics, such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. Attires of the Pattachitra characters showcase Mughal effects. The characters have well-defined body languages. The different categories of the Pattachitra are:

  • Jagannath Paintings
  • Ramayana Paintings
  • Bhagabat Paintings
  • Vaishnav Paintings
  • Legend’s Paintings
  • Shakta Paintings
  • Saiva Paintings
  • Bandha Chitras
  • Raga Chitras

Method to Design Pattachitra