Bengal Pattachitra Paintings | Buy Pattachitra Art Online | Pattachitra of West Bengal – MeMeraki.com
The Bengal Pattachitra is a visual and oral art tradition practised by the Patuas or Chitrakars of West Bengal. Islamic by faith, Patua artists represent a unique and secular art tradition. They earn their livelihood by telling stories from Hindu Mythology, local folklores, Sufi tradition and contemporary themes through paintings and songs. Though the origin of the Patua tradition has been difficult to trace for art historians, some claim the oral form goes back all the way to the 10th or 11th century CE. The physical evidence of a scroll, however, only makes an appearance in the 18th century CE.
Literally meaning a ‘painting done on cloth’, Pattachitra mainly hails from the state of Odisha.
Historically, Pattachitra came into existence in order to depict Lord Jagannath’s tales. Krishna’s leelas have been an important motif for the paintings as well. Thus, the main themes of Pattachitra revolve around religious narratives, mythological stories and folktales.
The artiste caste of Odisha, the Mahapatras or Maharanas originally began to engage themselves in this art.
The main themes of Pattachitra revolve around religious narratives, mythological stories and folktales.
Before the actual process of painting even begins, the artist has to start with the preparation of the canvas on which the painting will take place: the cloth. The cloth is coated with the stone powder of chalk and glue made using tamarind seeds. This is done to give it a soft, smooth finish, making it strong and semi absorbent for the paint.
A rough sketch of the painting is then made using a brush. The colours to be used majorly in the painting are further applied- they consist of yellow,black, white and red. All these colours are naturally sourced- Red from the shingle stone, Yellow from haritala stone, White from crushed, boiled, and filtered shells and Black is prepared out of lampblack.
After the colours are filled in, the artists use a black brush to create fine strokes for the finishing. To make the painting durable and water resistant, it is held over a charcoal fire and lacquer is applied to the surface.
The colours majorly used are yellow,black, white and red. All these colours are naturally sourced- Red from the shingle stone, Yellow from haritala stone, White from crushed, boiled, and filtered shells and Black is prepared out of lampblack.