Kalighat

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Scope note
A style of watercolor painting used by artists working in Calcutta, India in the nineteenth century; the works produced were sold inexpensively to pilgrims to the nearby Kalighat temple. This style demonstrates the European influence on Indian folk art; not only was the English technique of transparent watercolor adopted, but European subjects and events were sometimes depicted. Overall, these rapidly produced paintings are characterized by bold colors, broad sweeping brush lines, simplified forms, and little or no backgrounds. Popular Hindu deities are most commonly depicted although scenes of contemporary life are found as well. The style, which arose to compete with inexpensive colored lithographs, soon lost the contest. Although it quickly disappeared, the Kalighat style was influential for a number of modern Indian painters.
Kalighat
Accepted term: 15-Jul-2024