ISBN 9781935677215,Kalighat Paintings

Kalighat Paintings


Grantha Books



Grantha Books

Publication Year 2012

ISBN 9781935677215

ISBN-10 1935677217


Number of Pages 112 Pages
Language (English)


Kalighat painting evolved as a unique painting style in the rapidly urbanizing cityscape of nineteenth-century Kolkata. Reflecting a new language, in which old and new techniques came together, these paintings recorded the changes in lifestyles, values, and a new visual vocabulary brought forth by lithographic presses and studio photography.

The artists who developed the now famous Kalighat painting style were traditional scroll painters (patuas) who migrated from rural Bengal and settled in the vicinity of the Kalighat temple in Kolkata. In catering to the transient, urban populace, these artists let go of their linear narrative styles and adopted single pictures with one or two figures. The traditionally inherited techniques and iconography were blended with the use of watercolours and Western academic shading, to portray frames of a changing society.

This volume accompanies the touring exhibition 'Kalighat Paintings' organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in collaboration with the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, in late 2011.

The V&A holds the single largest collection of Kalighat paintings in the world, and this is the first exhibition to show the V&A's collection in India combining with the collection from the VMH, Kolkata, the works are exhibited alongside contemporary Kalighat paintings from today's practising artists.