Arty-Facts about Indian Handicrafts

  • Why are we so passionate about Patachitra Paintings

    Well finally! I now understand what a colleague of mine meant when she told me that she woke up at 5 am every morning and spent the first hour just staring at paintings that she loved!

    Back then I thought she was crazy to be giving up an extra hour of sleep.

    I feel her passion now and have Patachitras to thank for it.

    Never heard of this form of art? Fret not, a little bit of history and a couple of pictures are at hand.

    I myself knew little of Patachitras a year ago and still know little, but what I do know, is that I'm absolutely in love with this form of painting. It simply grows on me with time.

    Patachitras are a rare form of painting originating from Odisha, dating back to the time of the establishment of the shrine of Lord Jagannath (or Krishna known popularly) at Puri.

    These are primarily paintings on 'patas' or hand made cloth canvases but later went on to include wall paintings, manuscript paintings and even palm leaf etchings (refer to our other blog).

    I can just stare at one of these beautiful works of art for hours together (of course that's a slight exaggeration) but I really would like to declare that I can spend a good amount of my time just being lost in these paintings.

    Of course, its another thing that the form is mostly based on the life of Lord Krishna who is another love of my life. :)

    Every theme pertaining to Lord Krishna is about love, whether it's the Raasleela depicting Krishna & the Gopis in the dance of love, or the Kandarpa Hathi (where the Gopis form an Elephant and carry their love - Krishna far away), or Lord Krishna leaving for Mathura to fight the mighty Kansa for the love of his countrymen. Lord Krishna inspires one to be immersed in love & get lost in it and that's also what Patachitras do to you.

    What attracts me to this form of art is the traditional design form used and old age colors combinations - bright, colourful and in your face. Love them or hate them but ignore them you cannot!

    I simply loved the below Raasleela patachitra that I got commissioned for a friend of mine.

    Observe how that deep Orange stands out giving the painting a vibrant quality. The decor of the room was supposed to be warm & organish. Isn't it just beautiful and breathtaking?

    Add to that the whole magic of a dark starry night with music wafting ever so slowly with the breeze and you'll feel the effect of the painting. Click on the painting images to enlarge them to get a better view.

    There are the black and white versions too which are much more difficult to execute as mistakes cannot be hidden with colors painted above them.

    These B&W paintings or rather monochrome paintings have a certain surreal quality, bringing the wandering mind to a halt and making the onlooker sit up to take notice only to slowly get lost again in its beauty.

    Here are some amazing patachitra paintings for you to enjoy and feast your eyes and souls on!

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