Picture Stories

Picture Stories
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Popular paintings were produced for traveling performers across India for use in storytelling. The chitrakatha paintings of central India were made between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The word chitrakatha literally means picture story. These paintings typically were produced as a series, and mounted back to back. During a performance, they were either attached to an upright pole or placed on a board balanced against the seated storyteller’s knees, and then rotated from one scene to the next. Stories were sung in local dialects, accompanied by musicians. This selection of chitrakatha paintings from Paithan, in modern Maharashtra, features scenes from the story of Babhruvahana from the Mahabharata (Great Epic of India), and the story of the Burninng of Lanka from the Ramayana (Adventures of Rama).

- Julie Romain, South and Southeast Asian Art, (2009)

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