ThisÂ Kalighat style painting depicting aÂ seated youngÂ Bengali Babu holding a hookaha while a barber cleans his ear, late 19th century. Â Kalighat paintingsÂ are produced with variety of water based, opaque colours on papers.The jewelleries and ornamentation on the body and garments of the figures are created by fine white lines. The painting is made on special handmade paper backed with cloth. It'sÂ charm lies in the fact that it captures the essence of daily life and continues to influence modern artistes.These painting are priceless collectibles for the discerning decor aficionado and art lover.
Kalighat paintings originated in 19th Century West Bengal, in the vicinity of the Kalighat temple in Kolkata. The themes represented by Kalighat Patuas are not merely mythological but also come from their own contemporary social life, often with satirical ends which remains a significant source of the social history of that period. The themes of Kalighat paintings are like the decadent culture of the nouveau riche (the floppish babu culture), their sexual exploits, the hypocrisy of the priests and even events like a man fighting a tiger or so one.Â The western influence on Bengali culture fascinated patuas and they often took potshots at the Bengali Babu. The paintings are characterised by line drawings, the outlines of which are made with bold and elegant brush strokes. With shaded contours, the paintings have a plaque like effect.Â
Artist :Â Suman Chitrakar, the Patua Artist from West Bengal.