Home Kalighat Folk Art

Kalighat painting began in the 19th century in Calcutta, West Bengal, as a unique genre of Indian painting. Based on depictions of gods and other mythological figures, these paintings have evolved over time to reflect a variety of topics.

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Process of Kalighat painting

Kalighat paintings were usually done by a group of artists from the same family. So while some people grind materials to create handmade dyes, others outline shapes, fill them with color tones, or add finishing touches in the form of motifs and background designs. These paintings were usually created on clothes & pattas.

Kalighat Paintings of Kolkata

The Kalighat art form originated from the Kalighat Kali temple in Kolkata. While initially depicting only Hindu gods and goddesses, they quickly became more "Western" - depicting ordinary people participating in everyday life. This is in contrast to the older "Oriental" school of scenes from Hindu mythology, and later Islamic depictions. The Eastern School also changed its themes as time progressed. When Patuas, a community of craftsmen from West Bengal, settled in Kolkata, the demand for Kalighat paintings skyrocketed.

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