A Collector's Delight !
The name " Kalighat Pata"is applied to a class of paintings and drawings on paper produced by a group of artists called 'patuas' in the neighbourhood of the famous Kali Temple at Kalighat in Calcutta in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Colonial rule had destroyed the equilibrium of Bengal village life. Around 1809, wandering scroll painters from the districts of Murshidabad, Birbhum, Hoogly etc settled down near the newly rebuilt Kalighat temple to paint their depictions of gods and goddesses as well as scenes from contemporary life and times, often with a dose of wry humour. The Patuas reflected in their paintings the incoherence of urban life, both of the English people and of the Calcutta babus, the style deriving inspiration from folk dolls and statuettes. Kalighat "pats" soon developed into an industry, turning out a great number of pictures to meet the popular demand of pilgrims and other visitors to the city. Their themes included popular Hindu deities, incarnations and saints, epic and Puranic anecdotes, historical events, incidents of daily life, social skits and different species of Indian fauna. Since no other idol could be placed in the Kali temple, the other Gods and Goddesses were depicted through paintings, and rich landowners and wealthy pilgrims flocked to buy these artworks. There were just 4 or 5 painters, working in limited themes and colours, but the paintings themselves were of a quality and style that soon became world famous. Socio-cultural satirical aspects of the Babu culture crept in, in the 1850's, and the movement only lost momentum with the advent of printed artwork. Many painters moved to idol making and an art form that had impressed and influenced artists like Pablo Picasso, and the Chinese scroll painters, almost came to a standstill.
In recent years, young Bhaskar Chitrakar, inspired by his grandfather, has actively revived the art form by continuously painting in the old style and also re-inventing the patachitra with contemporary themes and ideas. He is the last active Kalighat patua still living and working in the Kalighat area. In his endeavours, he has been supported for the past eight years by the Tejas Gallery, who have seen him grow in concept and improve in technique, now combining the old Kalighat style with miniature painting in all it's details. He continues to use traditional powder pigments, grinding them himself, mixing gum-arabic and chemicals to ensure longevity, and using the best paper and finest brushes to execute his charming works. He does not work fast anymore, but spends days contemplating, designing and finally executing each piece, especially his "Babu" series where a dose of wry humour is injected into each work.
Bhaskar's patachitras are truly a collector's delight!!
Each of these Limited Edition Signed Prints are 1 of only 5 made. Price includes Tax