Arts and Culture
The school of Kalighat paintings stands out as a true example of Bengal folk art and European fine art. Pata painting is one of the most popular and indegenous folk art of South Asia in general and West bengal in particular. It is a class of painting which is done on patta or silk cloths. The style of this painting is basically line drawing illuminated by colour washes. The themes depicted were mainly stories from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, as well as scenes from the life of Krishna, incarnations of Vishnu, besides traditional themes of musicians and courtesans, fauna and flora, social life etc.
Kalighat painting is a type of square pata painting that derives its name from the Kalighat Temple in Calcutta. From the beginning of early 19th century, Calcutta was famous for its "Babu Culture" and the capital of India under British rule, incidentally a cross-fertilization of English Liberalism and this culture was fostered in its wake by the local Zamindari System. As a result, Under the new socio-economic set-up the traditional themes was replaced by newly created myths of British-rule generated ‘Babu-Bibi’ culture of the rich urban gentleman who were influenced by the western thinking, mocked feminism and religious hypocracy often with satirical ends which remains a significant source of the social history of that period.
My paper intends to throw light on the contemporary Socio-Religious life of Bengal with reference Victoria and Albert Museum collection of pata painting.