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About Patachitra Painting


The first-generation women patachitra artists of West Bengal’s village of Naya sell their work online and are recognised the world over, encouraging future generations to stay in the profession.


Facts for Prelims

About Patachitra

Patachitra, also known as Pattachitra, is a traditional form of scroll painting originating from the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. Here are some key points about Patachitra painting:

  • Origin: Patachitra is believed to have originated as early as the 12th century. The term “Patta” means cloth, and “Chitra” means picture in Sanskrit, reflecting the medium and art form.
  • Subject Matter: Patachitra paintings are known for their intricate details and typically depict mythological narratives, folktales, and stories of Hindu deities. They often serve as visual storytelling devices, conveying cultural and religious themes.
  • Purpose: Originally, Patachitra paintings were created for ritual use and as souvenirs for pilgrims visiting temples in Odisha, particularly in Puri. In Bengal, they were used as visual aids during the performance of songs and stories.
  • Materials and Technique:
    • Patachitra paintings are made on a special canvas prepared by layering cotton sarees with tamarind paste and coating them with clay powder.
    • Traditionally, cotton canvas was used, but now both cotton and silk canvas are employed.
    • The artists fill colors directly onto the canvas without any initial sketches, following a tradition of completing the borders of the painting first.
    • Natural materials such as lamp soot and powdered conch shells are used to obtain colors.
    • Each painting can take weeks or even months to complete due to the meticulous detailing and intricate work involved.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024