Indian Traditional Art Paintings - Kalighat Painting: "Babu and Bibi" by Susama Chitrakar - Original Handmade Indian Paintings for Sale in Mojarto - NDTV Art Website - 14"W x 22"H
Kalighat Patachitra or the Kalighat style of folk painting evolved and flourished during nineteenth century in areas surrounding the Kalighat temple in the city of Kolkata, India. It is a well-recognized urban folk art form of India.
Initially, this style of painting depicted Hindu deities, their various incarnations and related themes from the Hindu religion and mythology. Gradually, it started embracing contemporary non-religious social themes and subjects - colonial rulers, country's freedom struggle, emerging upper and middle classes of the city, and hypocritical lifestyles of Babu culture prevalent during the colonial British rule of India. Therefore, this form of Indian painting in its own sense was way ahead of its time and evoked a lot of critical thinking. It captured the influence of the western culture on the city's intellectual and cultural life.
The artists involved in this form of Indian painting, known as 'Chitrakars' (or Painters) and 'Patuas' (or Painters on Cloth), were villagers who came from the rural Bengal and settled around the Kalighat temple in the city of Kolkata. They chose paper as a medium over the traditional medium of cloth and used homemade natural colors. The brushes made out of squirrel and calf hair were used to make sketches.
The artform lost its popularity, outdone by the fascination for mechanically reproducible pictures from the printing presses and dwindling patronage, disappeared from the market during 1930's. Today there exists only handful Indian artists mostly located in rural Bengal such as Medinipur, Birbhum and Bolpur, who are struggling to keep this Indian art form alive.
Susama Chitrakar (Indian Artist), a young Patachitra artist and a homemaker, hails from a rural village in Medinipur in West Bengal, India. Her parents, Shyamsundar Chitrakar and Rani Chitrakar too are skilled patachitra artists (also known as 'Patuas,' those who paint on Cloth), involved in traditional Bengal patachitra scroll painting. Realizing the need to revive the dying Kalighat style of painting, Susama soon started practicing the artform depicting various religious and social themes such as different incarnations of Hindu deities, hypocritical lifestyles of Babu culture etc. She had participated in many events, fairs and art exhibitions in India and other countries to exhibit her artworks, the latest being Trondheim Internasjonale Festival in Norway on November 2017.