This Kalighat painting depicts the decadent culture of the nouveau riche (the floppish babu culture).The rise of ‘Babu culture’ in late eighteenth century is well envisaged sarcastically by the artist in this Kalighat painting where, the ‘babu’ is illustrated as high class rich gentleman who is typically identified with nicely oiled hair, pleat of his dhoti in one hand exploiting a woman. The jewelleries and ornamentation on the body and garments of the figures are created by fine white lines. The use of colour is bold and shows a predominance of red, blue, green and yellow. The painting is made on special paper.
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. 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.
The painting is done by Manu Chitrakar, the Patua Artist from West Bengal.