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Pata paintings

Pata paintings

There is a huge collection of pata paintings in the gallery. Odisha has an indigenous style of its own in painting as in craft. Bright primary colours bold but graceful lines and thythemic forms are the identifying characteristics of this style. Reared by a hereditary set of painters, called Chitrakars, these paintings mostly deal with Krishnalila themes. It has developed over the years centering around the lord Jagannath. Innumerable pilgrims pouring into Puri every year patronise this art. Jagannath pata is a 'must' for each and every pilgrim visiting Puri, Painting is done with experienced and delicate hands directly on the Pata with colours. Pata is a leathery surfaced sheet prepared out of cloth applied with tamarind glue. Besides patas on display are ganjapas (circular playing cards) painted in the pata style. Navagunjara painting is a very interesting composition with parts of nine animals, birds. According to a legend described in Sarala Mahabharata, Navagunjara has been taken as an avatara of Vishnu or Krishna who appeared before Arjuna. in his exile Kanchi Vijaya painting is based on a glorious historical episode, where in the Gajapati king Parusottam is aided and led by Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra in his famous expeditions against Kanchi. This narrates an incident where the lords have taken to reins to defend their Raja. In communicating this illuminous chapter of Odishan history the Chitrakaras of this state very often paint this scene.

Jagannath temple being the main source of inspiration to the painters find a respectable place in the Pata paintings. At times, the whole history of temple construction with its elaborate inner shrines with deities, entire Krishnalila scenes, ten avataras of Vishnu are painted compartmentwise. The middle enlongated space is left for the Deul. The "pandas" and the daily servides of the temple are also not left out. The huge painting in the gallery is an old and unique of this kind. Kamakunjara-This cupid elephant motif is arranged with women figures in different forms and postures allowing an restricted form conception of an elephant. This is the symbol of youth, juvenation and lusciouness with Radhakrishna on the elephant back. The most important collectipn in this group are a pata painting "Rama bibha" and a sketch book containing Odisi drawings of Apana Maharana from Jeypore.' Koraput. Besides these Bastraharana, Boita bandana, Ta'Poi, Navakeli, Radha Krishna, Mahisamardini. Durga, Dasamahavid'Ia and Dasavatar are the paintings of repute in the gallery.