Chitra-Pothi – JP Das


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A little-known art form of Orissa is illustration on palm-leaf, which flourished along with the Orissan tradition of copying kavya texts on palm-leaf manuscripts and illuminating them. This art form touched its zenith during the 18th century when a large number of chitra-pothis (illustrated palm-leaf manuscripts) were done. Chitra-pothi: Illustrated palm-leaf manuscripts from Orissa traces this tradition and the development of Oriya literature, which provides the basis of palm-leaf art. It throws light on the making of the chitra-pothis and the nature of the texts that were illustrated, weaving into the larger canvas the patron, the scribe and the artist, as it goes on to analyse palm-leaf art as an illumination of the text and as an art form in itself.


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