Patachitra Scroll Paintings

Patachitra scroll painting, a form of folk art comes from the eastern part of India mainly from the state of West Bengal and Bihar. The Bengali scroll tradition is an ancient one, featuring single image paintings or long vertical multi paneled scrolls known as 'patas' (paintings) or 'jorana patas' (scroll paintings). Painted jorano patas of rural Bengal are one of the few genuine narrative pictorial folk art which is linked with performance has survived down to the present century.
In Bengali, "Pat" means "picture" and "Patua" or "Chitrakar" means "Painter". The Patua is a kind of minstrel, religious preachers who employ these paintings as means to propagate their religion. It was also an important device through which both oral and written epics are narrated. He goes from village to village, carrying these scrolls from door to door, and depending on people’s request, particular stories would be narrated for a small fee, either in cash or kind. The scrolls are done with sheets of paper sewn together and sometimes stuck on canvas. Their width can go from 4 to 14 inches and their length, often 3 feet can exceed 15 feet.The subjects painted by the Patuas in West Bengal are extremely varied. Their audience is mainly Hindu or Muslim, sometimes Catholic. The themes are inspired by the sacred texts of each of these religions.They also speak about political subjects which are given to them by the local authorities like the regrouping of the lands or the family planning. 


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