Every single industry has its own notable people who are the pride of elevating the status of what the industry was set out to do. Art is a dynamic area that has seen incredible artists. The likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso are some such names that everyone is familiar with. Leonardo da Vinci, for instance, is known as the great mind behind what is arguably the most famous painting in the world - the Mona Lisa, which is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
They are known as thegreatest painters of all time. These people were known as pioneers in art for their adoption of unique approaches in their compositions. These out-of-the-box approaches ultimately created theworld famous paintings that are still admired by millions around the world today.
In light of this, the general public may forget about the vastness of art.Pattachitra art is a niche area. Therefore, while it may not be considered by the wider population - especially for those who are not familiar with this art form - Pattachitra does still have its own notable artists who elevated its recognition on a wider stage.
Born in the coastal city of Puri in Odisha in 1943, Raghunath Mohapatra was a natural artist. He was prided as being one of the mostfamous artists in India. In spite of not receiving any formal training in stone sculpting, Raghunath Mohaptra was a pioneer in sculpting, known for the many Hindu deities he sculpted. His work was not only featured in multiple temples across the length and breadth of India, but has even gone beyond India’s borders, where he created temples in a few overseas countries.
In spite of Raghunath Mohaptra being known for his sculpting, he also created phenomenalPattachitra painting. His work was largely dedicated to Hindu idols, and was similar to the example of Pattachitra work shown below, depicting multiple avatars of Lord Vishnu that form uniquely repeating patterns (internal link).
Mohaptra wasawarded Padma Shri in 1975, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. These awards were largely attributed to his pioneering in visual arts and his dedication to keeping Odisha’s art culture on the map, both domestically and internationally.Raghunath Mohaptra passed away in May 2021.