Kalighat Paintings refer to the class of paintings and drawings on hand-made or more usually on machine-made paper produced by a group of artists called ‘Patuas’ in the neighbourhood of the famous Kali temple at Kalighat in between 19th and earlier 20th Century.
The Kalighat School of painting is perhaps the first school of painting in India that is truly modern as well as popular. With their bold simplifications, strong lines, vibrant colours and visual rhythm, these paintings have a surprising affinity to modern art. Kalighat paintings were produced with variety of water based, opaque colours on papers. Several colours like blue, indigo, red, green, yellow, carbon black etc. had been used in Kalighat paintings.
Today the practice of Kalighat paintings still continues in the villages of Bengal where the rich traditions are proudly being carried out by the patuas which are being handed down through the generations. This is surely a matter of great appreciation and a consortium is needed whose un-tired effort will revive the glorious past of Bengal.