Kalighat School is a unique and delightful Blend of the Oriental and the Occidental styles of painting. Critically examine the key features of this school.

This Indian Style of painting originated in the vicinity of Kalighat Kali Temple, Kolkata in 19th century. Kalighat temple was considered the main centre around which the traditional artists known as ‘painters of cloth’ were concentrated. Later academic training institutions were set up in Bengal imparting European style of art for the Indian artists by British patrons. This induced the traditional artists to move from rural areas to the city. They started learning from the newer techniques. They also created innovative and new art forms. This eventually led to the birth of Kalighat painting.
Kalighat School was a unique and delightful Blend of the Oriental and the Occidental styles of painting. Due to this exceptional combination, it gained steady acknowledgment.
The artists played an important role in the Independence movement through the depiction of secular themes and personalities in their paintings.
Paintings apart from depicting religious themes also portrayed different professions and costumes which were popular among the tourists. Sometimes, even contemporary events like crime were the subject of many paintings.
Images of goddess were popular among Kalighat artists of which Kali was the favourite goddess. The artists also portrayed themes like Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna and the exploits of Hanuman.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Kalighat School is a unique and delightful Blend of the Oriental and the Occidental styles of painting. Critically examine the key features of this school.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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