A complete Guide to Kalighat Paintings, A prominent Indian Artform

Kalighat paintings are a type of traditional Indian art that originated in Kolkata. Kalighat paintings are characterized by their use of bold colors and simple lines. These paintings typically depict scenes from Hindu mythology, and they are often used to tell stories or teach moral lessons.

They were originally created on the walls of Kalighat Kali Temple on the banks of Burin Ganga, Kolkata.

They are now also produced on paper, cloth, and other materials. Kalighat paintings were not initially a well-recognized form of art that it has become today, It is getting increasingly popular in recent years and widely influence the various art forms existing all around the world. It has also developed as a school of painting for Indian traditional art.

The roots of Kalighat Paintings

These pictures were created around the 1850s when they started to be called “Kalighat.” It is believed that Kalighat had a temple in the 15th century known as the mansar bhasan, which is presently 200 years old. The Kalighat pat originated in the temple in the early 19th century then in the late 19th century, these paintings by Indian artists began to be recognized and appreciated on an international level. These paintings were known for their vibrant colors and visual rhythm. Kalighat paintings were made by patuas and were sold at stalls in the alleys of kalighat as pilgrimage and tourist souvenirs. Many Patua artists and storytellers who traveled from village to village singing stories in exchange for money and food had migrated to Kolkata in search of a steady income which came by selling their illustrative paintings.

Kalighat paintings are unlike the linear narrative style of a scroll. They show a single scene with graphic, simplified forms and religious portrayals that can be satirical or contemporary in content. The minutely detailed panels from this ancient Indian art form would typically take up entire wall space to display just one short comic strip; sometimes there’s no explanation at all!

In the 19th century when these paintings got recognized globally, many European-style universities opened up centers for fine arts training in India which trained students who would go on to become renowned art professionals back home or abroad. The changes brought about due largely to British rule had enabled certain forms of academic recognition within the local curriculum so that nowadays there are schools offering courses ranging across all genres — including those related directly to your career choice!

The Evolution of Kalighat Paintings

There were 2 kinds of pats, Sara and Jorano. The content of the kalighat paintings came from sara and the form was taken from the jorano pat.

An aquatint of madam belenos, showing a picture of a god resembling a kalighat pat dated back to 1830 shows evidence of the existence of kalighat in the early 19th century. Kalighat paintings were also used to make woodblock prints of the paintings which were very valuable in the market back then, Apart from the woodblocks being inspired by these paintings they also started to be hand painted by patuas. Not only did these paintings bring gods and goddesses into the light but they also depicted the babu culture and socio-political occurrences of that period. It led to influencing the tribal art of India too. Along with the various forms of art, Advertisements of that era also started to be influenced by kalighat, which then also became a part of lithography where it was printed in color and black and white form both. It slowly spread all across the place with cigarette cards, mill labels, postcards, and of course pictures of gods and goddesses which showed to have had a major impact on their designs.

Kalighat paintings are a reflection of the changing times, evolving with new techniques and themes. One such school that attracted artists from all over India to study was The Calcutta School Of Art – where they would later be exposed not only to modern art but also to traditional styles like patuas (the Bengal region). This had an influence on how these painters painted their pieces as you can see in both styles found throughout Kalighat paintings: one more brightly lit than another depending upon what type it might have been depicting; whether scenes pertaining mostly indoors or outdoors etcetera. Two different forms of kalighat paintings came into the picture, namely the ‘Oriental’ and the ‘Occidental’.

The ‘Oriental school’ of Kalighat painting depicted prevalent themes like religious deities and figures. The most prominent being goddesses Durga and Lakshmi as well as scenes from sacred texts like Ramayana where we see Rama with his beloved Sita by purdum Vanasthali Waterfall on an island in India’s River systems.

Whereas, The ‘Occidental School’ of kalighat mainly dealt with the depiction of the daily lives of the common man, how they were affected by social and political obstructions.

How did Kalighat Paintings become one of the most prominent art forms of India?

Kalighat paintings are a formative part of Indian art that has been practiced for centuries. These works respond to social and political changes affecting the locals, often depicting their everyday life. Kalighat means “of/from Calcutta” so these pieces speak volumes about what was happening around them at any given time – whether it’s addressed by artists who lived there or just visited on vacation to explore! This painting style was used to show social evils such as crime, the hypocritical lives of quasi-bourgeois people, and expressed support for the Indian independence movement through illustrations of Tipu Sultan or Rani Lakshmibai.

The themes of this traditional Indian art form are very much applicable to the lives and experiences that common people have. It influenced a lot in terms of critical thinking because they were ahead by so many years with what their work portrayed!

How are these Paintings made & what materials are used in the process?

The Kalighat paintings are a series of myths and stories told through art. The images speak to the viewer not only with their visual appeal but also on an emotional level as they relate various themes like love lost or found again.

In order to create these works, each member from different families would work together to create what we see today, based on whatever task was given to them by either family members or clients alike. Usually, women and children were involved in grinding color into ingredients and preparing organic dyes. The other members of the family drew the outlines of the figures, filled in hues and color contours. This made sure that the process was perfect and that everything came out just right!

Kalighat paintings are a form of Bengal Poorak that has been practiced for centuries. The artists would use natural pigments to create their works, which were then filled with outlines and colors using different contours on human figures as well adding motifs like leaves or flowers in specific places throughout each piece according to its own design style overall creating an authentic look unlike any other artistic expression found anywhere else across India! The artwork was only for the sake of decoration. Artisans used silver and gold hues to make it more exquisite looking than before

Kalighat paintings are famous for their detailed portrayal of human figures. The older members who were experts added the final touches in form or motifs, while beginners would just draw outlines on canvas with coloring over it to give an impression that they had been more involved throughout every step- from planning out how everything should look through adding backgrounds details like colors used specifically because these handmade dyes allowed them too!

This ancient technique uses organic tools and materials such as leaves, dirt, or watercolor to create intricate patterns on canvas which are then covered in the eggshell coating before being scraped off again with sandpaper so you can see all those beautiful details!

Because the ancient Egyptians couldn’t afford chemical dyes, they used natural plant-based ones to create their colors. The most common type for painting was Purple Fuchsite which came from a mineral called ferrous sulfate found in coal tar. The outline would be drawn with black ink on top of it before being filled up using various techniques like sticking strips into cracks or scratching away at areas where there were no pigments available yet; this process took so much time that sometimes artists wouldn’t even finish touches around eyes until after someone else had already written scenes onto them

India’s industrial revolution led to the use of colors on canvas and paper that were not originally created for this purpose. These new, brighter shades replaced older traditional ones which had been popular until then due in part because they were more dye-related rather than pigment-based like those made from natural sources such as iron burns or lemons manual techniques could create lightfast paints but these weren’t always required when you wanted something stronger – grays came out easily while still being able to lay down thin lines with precision

To help explain how certain things happened during India’s historical time period let me tell

Popular Subjects covered in Kalighat paintings

Hindu paintings of the goddess Kali have been a part of India’s art history for centuries, but this tradition was not limited to just one religion. Paintings that include Islamic prophets and angels can be found alongside non-religious themes in Indian temples across Nepal today! Kalighat is known for its vibrant and diverse paintings that cover a wide range of topics. The most common theme recurring in these works are scenes from colonial life, especially those depicting contemporary events or people involved with the times -you know how storytelling can take up all your time? It’s amazing what has been preserved over years through brush strokes instead of digital era filters!

Indian artwork from the colonial era is often heavily influenced by British culture. This can be seen in Kalighat paintings which portray Hindu deities wearing fashionable Victorian crowns, playing violins instead of veenas (the traditional string instrument associated with Goddess Saraswati), and adopting elegant poses similar to those found among English noblewomen during that time period.

The life of an average woman in this region was difficult, with many trying to survive through means both legal and illegal. Women were often painted as symbols for shelter or fertility – sometimes they could be found under trees that represent growth and possibility because these picturesque places offered protection from greater dangers outside their homes

The history of Indian Art can be traced back to the temple where it originated. This holy ground, which embodied Shakti – female active principle in Hindu religious philosophy- was portrayed as strong and independent rather than desired by men who were often shown satirically like ‘lap dogs’ or charlatans’.

The British rule in India had a severe impact on society and culture. Toward the end of the 19th century, these changes led to more realistic images being incorporated into Kalighat paintings that depicted life as it could be experienced within Kolkata’s social world at this time–a sarcastic but honest portrayal from an insider perspective The new genre lampooned traditional Hindu religious figures by showing them performing rituals incorrectly or wearing clothes far too large for their bodies while eating sumptuous feasts featuring dishes such as pulao (rice) cooked with lamb shanks which were actually vegetarian!

Some Famous artworks

The cat series is one of the most popular paintings by Jamini Roy during his lifetime. It’s restrained in terms of colors but still manages to exhibit an original style that makes it stand out amongst other works from this period.

A number of artists were producing artwork with cats at around this time, so you could say there was really no difference between them in how they employed their chosen animal – whether through portraiture or landscape formatting.

This is a picture of a bride with two companions. Painted in 1952, this painting of Roy is well known for the majestic indigo of Bengal that was used. Every aspect of the painting is known to have a meaning and reason attached to it.

The above painting was done in 1952 by Roy and it has been said that he used this as his testament to Christ’s passion, which includes the scene where Jesus died on Calvary hill for our sins while also including other scenes such crucification itself or various angels present at Mount Zion watching over their master’s sacrifice from up above–this particular work bears all these meanings because both materials were used during the creation process: bamboo fibers combined together into Combine techniques make opaque paint applied patiently across large surfaces before being

Lord Krishna, the brother of Balarama. He is depicted in this painting with his earthy colors against a majestic red background and Santal boys playing musical instruments while others carry drums for them to dance around carefreely as if they were free from all worries on earth.

Fascinated by what he saw during his travels across India’s rural areas which included people belonging to different tribes such as sants and rajas ( kings) living side by side without any conflicts whatsoever.

In the world of art, there are many different forms that can be taken. One such form is a series by Indian artist Roy where he paints pictures from stories about Krishna and Radha – two figures who play an integral role in Hinduism’s sacred text “Bhagavad Gita”.


Kalighat paintings are one of the most well-known forms of Indian art that have been seen globally. Today, these paintings can be found in museums and galleries across Europe including The Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata; Britain’s Birmingham Museums And Art Gallery, and the Philadelphia Museum Of Art & Carnegie Institute( USA).

The era of kalighat paintings started to slowly decline in the 20th century when reproduction of printings took over, this also led to the migration of patuas from Kolkata to their villages. Kalighat is now done by a few artists residing in the rural areas of West Bengal. Kalighat Art holds a special place among other ancient Oriental artistic traditions like pottery or metal works because it combines calligraphy with painting to create beautiful images which last forever. The beautiful

the art form is here to stay in the hearts of all of the artists and cultural enthusiasts, who will also continue to keep it alive all around the world.

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