An important but little-known art form of Orissa is illustration on palm-leaf that 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 golden age of Oriya Kavya literature in the 18th century when a large number of chitra-pothis (illustrated palm-leaf manuscripts) were done.
Chitra-pthi: Illustrated Palm-leaf Manuscripts from Orissa traces the palm-leaf tradition of Orissa and the development of Oriya literature that 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 canvast the patron, the scribe and the artist, as it goes on to analyse palm-leaf art: as illumination of the text and as an art form.
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