A Pattachitra masterpiece to brighten up your day!

The mural paintings of Odisha could be the oldest classical paintings from the point of their antiquity. However, the lack of evidence fails to build up a connected history of paintings which otherwise would have started with the Jain school of painting at Khandagiri and Udayagiri passing on to the Buddhist style and terminating in Saiva-Sakta and Vaishnava painting as is the case with the evolution of Odishan sculptural art.

Today, beautiful Pattachitra art is all over, but look at this painting here - one of the earliest paintings that brought Pattachitra to life in the Western world - marked by a pronounced linear character and belongs to a period between 17th and 20th centuries. It's an actual map of the Puri temple!

Just like Roshogolla, both Odisha and West Bengal have their own versions of Pattachitra! Depends on whether you like Cotton or Silk.

Now a bit more about the painting - This painting features the Puri temple with the Jagannath triad in the inner shrine and scenes from the legend of Krishna, epic poems and rituals, around them.

It enshrines the wooden icon of Jagannath (Lord of the Universe), a deity associated with Vishnu and Krishna, worshipped along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The ten avatars of Vishnu stand above the temple tower housed in petal shaped niches.

On the left is an episode from the story of the journey to Kanchi with Jagannath (on the white horse) and Balabhadra. On the right is a scene from the Rāmāyana with the army of monkeys, Hanumān, Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Rāvaṇa. Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra appear several times in various ceremonial clothes. It's a fascinating piece of Indian art!

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