Patachitras:Art of Orissa



Patachitras or painting on the cloth, a hereditary folk-art of Orissa carries the themes from Ramayana, Mahabharata. Bhagvata Gita, anecdotes of Krishna and Radha and pictures of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra.

The predominant gem like colors, which are used, are vermilion red derived from cinnabar, brick red from red ochre, yellow from orpiment, blue from indigo, white from conch shell and black from lamp black. Once, the colors are extracted they are combined with gum resin and then used in painting. The brilliant play of these colors produce stunning compositions on the cloth.

Different varieties of brushes are used on the cloth. The finer ones are made from the hairs of a mongoose or a rat while the coarser ones are used from the bristly hair of a buffalo’s neck. It is interesting to note that the Orissa painters do not employ squirrel brushes as commonly employed by the other miniature artists.

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