Size - 14"h x 11"w
Water-based colors on Paper
This 'Pat' or painting is the art from the state of West Bengal."The image of a calico cat with black and orange spots on a yellow body and with a pawn in its mouth has been interpreted as a satire on the hypocrisy of some religious merchants who were Vaishnavas (devotees of Lord Vishnu) and who professed to be vegetarians but in fact ate meat and fish in private. The iconography has variations in images of the cat holding other kinds of fish, a mouse and even a parrot in its mouth. When interpreted as satire, the image is sometimes titled 'The false ascetic.'" - From the Ocean of Paintings by Barbara Rossi
Mantu Chitrakar is a traditional scroll painter from West Bengal who, like other men and women of his community, learned to paint and draw while he was still a child. Mantu has painted several scrolls on events such as 9/11, the devastating tsunami of 2006 and the assassinations of former Indian prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Patachitra, or ‘pats’, are scroll paintings from West Bengal, intimately bound up with itinerant storytelling and songs. Historically, patachitra were cloth scrolls on which mythological or epic stories were painted as a sequence of frames. The artists (patua) would travel from village to village, slowly unrolling the scrolls and singing the stories. Patachitras have been compared to cinema frames or animation and are said to be one of the oldest forms of audiovisual communication.