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Kalighat paintings

Kalighat paintings originated in the vicinity of the Kalighat Kali Temple, Kalighat, Kolkata, India in the 19th century. The British, had set up institutions that trained the Indian artists in the European academic style. The Calcutta School of Art was one sof them that attracted traditional artists, the patuas, to the city. These artists gathered around the Kalighat temple where there was a great demand for religious art. Here they started learning the newer techniques and thus a new form of painting, the Kalighat paintings was born. These paintings were usually done on 17 by 11 inches of mill-made paper, with no attempt made to fill in the backgrounds. They incorporated broad sweeping brush lines, bold colours, and simplification of forms, suitable for mass production using lithography mostly. Among the deities, the goddess Kali, Durga, Lakshmi, and Annapurna were popular. Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna, Hanuman and ChaitanyaMahaprabhu and his disciples were the religious themes, contemporary events like crime and portraits of heroic characters like Tipu Sultan and Rani Lakshmibai were also done. Modern indian artists like the late Jamini Roy even to this day are influenced by this painting style.


The goddess durga on her lion kills the demon mahishasura, 1880, kalighat school