Pattachitrastyleof paintingis one of the oldest and most popularartwork formsof Odisha. The namePattachitra has advancedfrom the Sanskrit phrases patta, which meanscanvas, and chitra, meaningpicture. Pattachitra is for this reasona paintingcarried outon canvas, and is manifested throughrichvibrant application, creativemotifs and designs, and portrayal of easythemes, primarily mythological in depiction.
Some of the famous issues representedthroughthis artwork structure are Thia Badhia - depiction of the temple of Jagannath; Krishna Lila - enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displayinghis powers as a child; Dasabatara Patti - the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu; Panchamukhi - depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity. More than anything, the topicsare honestlythe essence of the artwork form, conceptualising the meaningof the paintings. It is no shock consequently that the systemof preparingthe artworkengages undeterred concentrationand cautious craftsmanship, stretching the preparationtime of the patta aloneto round fivedays.
The adventof the Pattachitra paintingsis a disciplined artform, and the chitrakars maintainpressurein their use of shadesand patterns, limiting the coloursto a single tone. Limiting themselves inside the boundaries of some rules, the chitrakars come up with such superbart work depicting stark emotional expressions that it is a surpriseshading of coloursis a taboo. In fact, it is this displayof emotionsof the figures expressed in the paintings, which is the crème de la crème of the artform, and the chitrakars put in their bestto bringout the most via their richvibrant motifs.
With the passage of time, the artwork of Pattachitra has beenthrougha commendable transition, and the chitrakars have painted on tussar silk and palm leaves, and even created wall hangings and showpieces. However, this kindof innovativeness has by no means proved to be a obstaclein their establisheddepiction of figures and the use of colours, which has remained intact for the duration ofgenerations. This fidelity is the key componentthat has maintained the effervescence of Pattachitra, backed with the reality that the putting up of some specialcentres for the artformin Odisha speaks volumes for its popularity.