Bishnupur Patachitra

Patachitra Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt. Patashilpa, the art of making Patachitra, is one of the ancient folk art traditions of Bengal. It combines folk paintings and folk songs. The Bengal Patashilpa dates back to over five thousand years. The style of painting is reminiscent of the paintings of Mohen-jo-Daro and Harappa, the earliest Asian civilizations, as well as the paintings in Ajanta caves of Maharashtra. The Patua or painter draws stories on long scrolls of cloth and as they unfurl the scroll, they sing the story that the Pata depicts. The word ? Pata? is derived from the Sanskrit word Patta which means a piece of cloth. The Patuas used to earn their living by visiting different village homes, displaying the scrolls and singing the tales. The painters use natural dyes and colours. The Pata art gives an impression of a story being told in sequences and sometimes it makes one believe that they might have been the precursor or harbingers of modern day cinema! This is probably one of the very few art forms that combines the performing and painting traditions, and has gained immense interest and popularity among the art connoisseurs of the world.