Pata Chitra/Scroll Painting of West Bengal

The practitioners of this craft form differ from the usual painters in the sense that they are known as 'patidars' and not 'chitrakars' which relates to the normal painters. This craft is made on cloth which is treated with cow dung, lac and black earth. The treatment makes the cloth thick thereby making the cloth easy to work. The outlines of the figures are made in black (derived from lamp black) and red. The scroll paintings are then painted with vegetable colours which not only make the paintings very bright but also add life to the pata chitra or scroll paintings. These paintings are therefore so bright even if they are 50-60 years old. The subjects of these scroll paintings are religious as also story from everyday life. The pata chitra practitioners or the patidars had a unique style of presenting their craft. The patidars go to different villages and convey the stories of these paintings with song and dance.