History of
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Indian Crafts >> Folk Paintings Or Patachitra
Folk Paintings Or Patachitra
History of Folk Paintings Or Patachitra

The patachitra, as the folk painting of Orissa is called, has a history of great antiquity. The current pictures have a basic resemblance to the old murals of that region dating back to 5th century B C. The best work is found in and around Puri, especially in the village of Raghurajpur. The artists colony, known as Chitrakar Sahi, is in the vicinity of the local temple.
Fine Art
Apart from the epic stories, there are figures like a dancing girl or mother and child. Very popular are the figures of Jagannath, chief deity of Puri with Balram and Subhadra, brother and sister of Krishana. Many scenes are however from the life of Krishna, a fountain head of inexhaustible anecdotes of colour and excitement that people never tire of. Krishna dancing with gopis and Krishna playing various pranks on his playmates charging the environment with an air of mischief are favourites ; the eternal idyl of Radha and Krishna, set in a riot of exhilarating colours which assail our eyes vivid red, orange, yellow for the background and lapis lazuli for the sky, dark green for dense brooding trees, parrot green for the grass. Against this glowing background isblue figure of Krishna, and in pink purple, wheat and brown and a whole host of shades are Krishna’s playmates, touched off by gold and silver brushing. As pottery developed ritualistic associations, the designs whether geometrical or anthropomorphic, painted or incised, began to take on symbolic meaning and magical purposes. For an important occasion, there will be sumptuous elephants surrounded by mangal ghats (sacred vessels), gaily painted with trees, creepers, leaves, flowers, animals etc.
The folk paintings or patachitra of Orissa have a tradition of great antiquity. The painting is done on cloth which the artists prepare themselves by coating it with a mixture of chalk and gum made from tamarind seeds to give the surface a kind of a leathery finish on which the artists paint with earth and stone colours.A very common article on which painting is done is pottery. In it, painting is done by brushes with a mixture of clay and powder from a stone rich in iron - oxide, or by incising and cutting a pattern on the raw pottery using comb - like and knife like tools.
Basic Material : Cloth, tamarind seeds, mixture of chalk and gum, brush
Colouring Material : Earthen colours, stone colours
comb-like and knife-like tools
Paintings depict gods in the hindu pantheon, radha - krishna legend and jagannath, painting done on pottery

Indian Crafts : History of Folk Paintings Or Patachitra