Painted Legends - The Pattachitras of Puri

A visit to the state museum of Bhubaneshwar in Odisha revealed the beauty of fine Pattachitra paintings of Gods & Goddesses. These painted textiles are unique and easy to recognize from the way the drawing are made and from the lacquer glossing done over the painting as a way of preserving the paint. A few pictures of the displays at the musuem: (The paintings are inside glass casing and so the pictures are not very clear) [caption id="attachment_9967" align="aligncenter" width="399"]201301-ORISSA-1984 multi-headed lord Ganesh[/caption] 201301-ORISSA-1985 201301-ORISSA-1986 201301-ORISSA-1987 201301-ORISSA-1989 [caption id="attachment_9972" align="aligncenter" width="348"]201301-ORISSA-1991 Goddess Kaali[/caption] 201301-ORISSA-2014 [caption id="attachment_9973" align="aligncenter" width="399"]201301-ORISSA-1993 Shiva Parvati Union[/caption] 201301-ORISSA-1994 201301-ORISSA-1995 201301-ORISSA-1996 201301-ORISSA-1997 201301-ORISSA-1998 201301-ORISSA-2016 [caption id="attachment_9985" align="aligncenter" width="470"]201301-ORISSA-2017 Radha - Krishna[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9986" align="aligncenter" width="470"]201301-ORISSA-2019 Shabari & Lord Ram[/caption]

And the magnificent Jagannath Temple of Puri :


201301-ORISSA-2002 And the idols of the Jagannath temple of Puri. 201301-ORISSA-2009 All the above are examples from the museum - all of significant age - some 19th century some early 20th century. A master-artist explaining the materials and the process used in these paintings The art of palm leaf painting [caption id="attachment_9166" align="aligncenter" width="470"]The art of palm leaf painting Natural nuggets containing various minerals - to be used as Colors[/caption] The art of palm leaf painting [caption id="attachment_9168" align="aligncenter" width="470"]The art of palm leaf painting The wood twig paint brush[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9169" align="aligncenter" width="470"]The art of palm leaf painting Lacquer that is melted and used to glaze the entire painting[/caption] Following are a few examples from the Wovensouls collection 124_1 123_1 122_1 [caption id="attachment_9998" align="aligncenter" width="470"]124_10 The back - where the lacquer glaze can be seen clearly.[/caption]

Only pattachotras of significant age have this lacquer glaze. For newer one this process is not used.

There is something very appealing about this naive art. Maybe I see the innocence of the people of Odisha reflected in these pieces and that is what makes them attractive!


May 2013


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