India | Orissa

Pata-Chitra Paintings

Pata-Chitra is the most significant among religious paintings of Orissa. This painting centers on Lord Jagannath of the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri. Pata-Chitra, featuring brilliant colors, is a souvenir for the pilgrims visiting this famed temple. It is painted by an artist community called 'Chitrakars.'

The art of Pata painting, used for Pata-Chitra, originated during the 12th century. It received patronage from the various kings whole ruled this region. With the onset of the Bhakti movement in the 16th century in Orissa, this painting style included Radha and Lord Krishna in its theme, which originally involved the Jagannath Temple and its deities.

Pata-Chitra is created using a sheet of cotton cloth. The cloth is first given a coating of gum derived from tamarind seeds. Another cloth is laid on this cloth and similarly treated with gum. These layered clothes on drying is cut into the desired size and smoothened on both sides, giving them a shine. The painting is done on this surface using colors derived from vegetables and minerals. The final painting is given a coating of lacquer.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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