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Kalighat Style of Painting
Kalighat paintingOnline resources

July 2017
Compiled by Neha Sankhla

It was during the 18th century that a new school of painting emerged in the Kalighat temple area on the banks of Ganga in the south Calcutta. Deriving its name from the region itself it became one of the most popular forms of painting. Initially these paintings were sold as the pilgrimage souvenirs in the vicinity of the shrine. And gradually they flourished from rural areas to the modern cities in Bengal growing a market for itself. Different tastes and likings of people from all parts of India were met by the patuas (artisan community of West Bengal) who were painting diverse range of themes including the secular ones.

Once serving as the model of authentic Indian art forms during the struggle of Indian nationalism, its popularity faded when there was an invasion of the art market with cheap oleographs and lithographs imitating the Kalighat pictures affecting the age old school of indigenous art school. In the last couple of years some measures has been taken by the Indian Government and NGOs in improving the condition of the artists who are giving life to this dying art. Following is a list of useful resources on this topic:

1. Kalighat Paintings: A review, The Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design, 2013.

2. Drawings and Paintings of Kalighat, by Mukul Dey, Mukul Dey Archives Trust.

3. Kalighat Paintings in the J. u. E. von Portheim-Stiftung, Heidelberg,
by A. L. Dahmen-Dallapiccola, AAUC/UAAC, 1975.

4. Kalighat Paintings from Nineteenth Century Calcutta in
Maxwell Sommerville's 'Ethnological East India Collection', by Pika Ghosh.

5. The Painters of Kalighat: 19th Century Relics of a Once Flourishing Indian
Folk Art
Industry Killed by Western Mass Production Methods, by Mukul Dey,
Mukul Dey Archives Trust.

6. Deft Strokes, by Pooja Sarkar, Business Standard, 2011.
Deft Strokes is about the improvement in the current situation of the artists behind
the Kalighat paintings and the national and international recognition they are receiving.

7. A Brief History of Kalighat Paintings in Kolkata, India,
by Sridevi Nambiar
, Culture Trip, 2017.

8. Indian Kalighat Paintings, by Deepak Sarma.

9. Under the Gaze of Kali: Exhibitionism in the Kalighat Painting Exhibition
at the Cleveland Museum of Art, by Deepak Sarma, Academia.edu, 2015. https://academia.edu/15331803/Under_the_Gaze_of_Kali_Exhibitionism_in_

10. Artist of a Lost Art, by Damayanti Datta, IndiaToday, 2012
The article is about Kalam Patua who is a postmaster by profession by his passion
lies in Kalighat painting and who has been credited with reinventing the lost art
of Kalighat of 19th century.

11. Catalogue of the Kalighat Paintings housed in the Penn Museum.

12. Kalighat Pat, a Postmodern Art Tradition?, by Pranabranjan Ray, artetc, 2012.

13. Indian Kalighat Paintings, by Deepak Sarma, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2011.

14. Reclaiming the Indigenous Style of Kalighat Paintings,
by Lauren M. Slaughter, Chrestomathy, 2012.

15. My name is Kalam Patua and I am not a Vernacular Artist, Johnml.blogpost.in, 2016

16. Jamini Roy: The Rebel Artist who Rejected his Western Training to Return to
his Roots
, by Sachari Pal, The Better India, 2017.

17. Born on the Streets, by John H. Bowles, Outlook, 1999
Review about the Kalighat exhibition which took place at the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art in the year 1999.

18. Changing the Tune Bengali Pata Painting's Encounter with the Modern,
by Kavita Singh, India International Centre Quaterly, 1996.

19. From Oral Tradition to 'Folk Art': Reevaluating Bengali Scroll Paintings,
by Beatrix Hauser, Nanzan University, 2002. http://jstor.org/stable/1178679

20. Kalighat Painting, Banglapedia.

21. Social Change as Depicted in the Folklore of the Bengali Patuas:
A Pictorial Essay, by Frank J. Korom
. https://academia.edu/32533014/Social_

22. Unraveling a Narrative Scroll about Modernity and its Discontents,
by Frank J. Korom
. https://academia.edu/10208402/Unraveling_a_Narrative_Scroll_about_

23. Civil Ritual, NGO’s and Rural Mobilization in Medinipur District, West Bengal,
by Frank J. Korom, Academia.edu, 2011. https://academia.edu/3641545/Civil_

24. Representation of Gender in Folk Paintings of Bengal, by Ratnabali Chatterjee,
Social Scientist, 2000. http://jstor.org/stable/3518186

25. Village of Painters: From West Bengal to New West, by Ben Ikenson,
newest.net, 2007
. https://newwest.net/main/article/village_of_painters_from_

This list is in progress. Please let us know if you know of some good archive on the Internet which concerns us and we may have missed. Please report if you find any dead links.

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