Thursday, 5 November 2009

Kalighat Painting

Kalighat painting, or pata (pronounced 'pot') is a style of Indian painting derives its name from the place. It is characterised by generously curving figures of both men and women and an earthy satirical style. It developed during the nineteenth century in response to the sudden prosperity brought to Calcutta by the East India Company trade became incredibly wealthy. Many of these nouveau riche families came from not particular exalted caste backgrounds, so the orthodox tended to frown on them and their often very tasteless conspicuous consumption. To the common people the 'babu's, as they were called, were equally objects of fun and sources of income. Kalighat pata pictures are highly stylised, do not use perspective, are usually pen and ink line drawings filled in with flat bright colours and normally use paper as a substrate. The art form is urban and largely secular: although gods and goddesses are often depicted, they appear in much the same de-romanticised way as the humans do. Kalighat pata has been credited with influencing the Bengal School of art associated with Jamini Roy and the works of French cubist Fernand Léger.

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