Pranab Narayan Das

Pranab Narayan Das

Master artist Pranab paints in the Pattachitra idiom of Orissa that originated in the village of Raghurajpur, and his atelier in Puri has developed a style unique to him : instead of the traditional canvas, he paints on tussar silk. The paintings are normally of gods and goddesses, most notably Jagannath, the avatar of Vishnu that is Orissa’s favourite deity. The work is so fine it needs to be done with brushes that are made from the hair of a rat’s tail - singular enough to be treated like a nib. All the pigment is from ground minerals, and most works take months to complete as the detail is so incredible that failing eyesight is a common result. Even though a group works together on a painting, only a Master can do the outline; what is heartening is the popularity of this traditional art with young boys and girls who are apprenticed to Masters and work with great dedication and skill