Shri Jagannath is the patron deity of Orissa. A roopa (form) of Lord Krishna, He is depicted in unison with His brother, Balabhadra, and their sister, Subhadra. This Vaishnava trinity is highly venerated in the Eastern Delta region. The folk painting that you see on this page depicts Jagannath-Subhadra-Balabhadra.
It is a pattachitra, which is an image (‘chitra’), usually of divinity, on patta. Patta is the name given to a locally produced fabric-based canvas. The image is executed using homemade pigments of organic make, that also with a rudimentary pen fashioned by the artist himself. The level of detail introduced into the composition using these traditional tools and rustic technology is remarkable.
Like most composite pattachitras, this painting features a multitude of panels in different sizes. Each panel is an independent visual narrative. The central ones depicts Jagannath-Subhadra-Balabhadra in varying attires and adornment, while the ones that line the edges of the canvas depicts episodes from the life of Krishna in this loka.
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