Pattachitra is a traditional cloth based scroll painting of Orissa. The term ‘Patta’ means ‘Cloth’ and ‘Chitra’ means Painting thus Pattachitra means ‘Cloth Painting’.
The painting has a distinctive character, which makes it, Orissa’s exclusive traditional school of painting.This art form developed around the premises of Puri Temple and it is based on the theme of “Jaganatha”.
This tradition of painting from Orissa can be classified into three based on the medium, ‘Pattachitra’ is the painting on cloth. ‘Bhitti Chitra’ painting on Wall and ‘Tala Patra Chitra’ on Palm leaf.
The main features are its strong, bold and angular lines. The themes are from Hindu Mythology and they are mainly about the Krishna cult, stories from Mahabharata and Radhakrishna,
All shades and colours are used in the painting. No artificial ingredients are used, extracts from vegetables and mineral colors are used for making natural paints in Pattachitra painting. The artist himself makes the paint required for the painting, not only that the artist’s family is also involved in the process. Pattachitra artists home itself is a painting studio.
The following are the major themes
Raghurajpur is an art village which is a center of Pattachitra art, it is known for the master Pattachitra Painters. Pattachitra art has its origin in 5thc BC. Here this art is still alive and that's why this village is declared as India’s first heritage village.
Navagunjara is an important theme in Pattachitra painting. Navagunjara is a hybrid mythical creature, which has features of 9 creatures including both animals and birds.
Navagunjara is a concept from Mahabharata, which has a philosophical side attached to it. The myth goes like this, that Arjuna encountered this strange creature in the forest, his instinct made him shoot with a bow but a thought imparted by Krishna struck him at that moment. The human mind is vast and infinite, and Navagunjara is yet another creature in this universe and he respected it and bowed in front of Nav Gujarat.