The Rose and the Broom: Babu Bibi Kalighat Painting by Bhaskar Chitrakar

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Shop Babu on the Rickshaw in Kalighat by Bhaskar Chitrakar Bhaskar Chitrakar blue-tick

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Size : Medium
Dimensions : H: 14 (in) | W: 10 (in)
Medium : Water Color on Paper

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About the Artwork +

Bhaskar Chitrakar's contemporary Babu Bibi Kalighat painting captures a humorous yet relatable moment between a husband and wife, depicting the babu attempting to mollify his angry bibi with a rose in hand and a humble gesture. The significance of this portrayal lies in its portrayal of everyday marital dynamics, highlighting the complexities of relationships with wit and charm. The vibrant colors and dynamic composition draw the viewer's attention, while the meticulous details in the characters' expressions and attire add depth to the narrative. Chitrakar's modern interpretation breathes new life into the traditional Kalighat style, offering a refreshing take on timeless themes of love, conflict, and reconciliation.
This contemporary Kalighat painting is a testament to the enduring relevance of the art form, which originated in the bustling streets near the Kalighat temple in Kolkata during the 19th century. Initially, Kalighat paintings served as religious artifacts and souvenirs for pilgrims, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and everyday life. Over time, the style evolved to include social commentary and satire, reflecting the changing dynamics of Indian society. The process of creating Kalighat paintings involves fine brushwork and the use of natural pigments, with artists like Bhaskar Chitrakar infusing their work with modern sensibilities while staying true to the traditional techniques. Today, Kalighat painting continues to thrive as a vibrant art form, offering contemporary interpretations that resonate with audiences worldwide.

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    Bhaskar Chitrakar blue-tick


    Bhaskar Chitrakar, a 46-year-old artist hailing from Kolkata's vibrant Kalighat neighborhood, has been immersed in the world of art since childhood, following in the footsteps of his father and drawing inspiration from his family's artistic lineage. With a tradition spanning back to 1991, his journey as an artist has been deeply rooted in his heritage, imbibing the essence of Kalighat's rich artistic legacy.

    Bhaskar ji’s his passion for his craft has taken him to the international stage, participating in esteemed events like the International Folk Art Market in the USA. Embracing the traditional Kalighat style, he adds a contemporary twist to his art, finding joy in painting modern subjects such as portraits of iconic figures like Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, as well as modern interpretations of classic themes like the Statue of Liberty.

    For Bhaskar ji, art flows effortlessly, whether he's working on traditional "Babu Bibi paintings" or experimenting with modern styles. An observer of life in all its facets, Bhaskar ji finds inspiration in the world around him, drawing from the depths of his thoughts and observations. 


    Kalighat painting is a traditional art form that flourished in the vicinity of the Kalighat Kali Temple in Kolkata, India, during the 19th century. It is characterized by its bold lines, vibrant colors, minimal background details, and distinctive style. Jamini Roy was one of the artists greatly influenced by this style. Moreover, the themes of the Kalighat painting range from religious stories to social satires. Goddess Kali, Babu & Bibi, and Cat with the Fish are some of the well-known illustrations in this craft. History and Legend Kalighat painting began as a form of devotional art inspired by the pilgrimage to the Kalighat Temple. Pilgrims sought souvenirs to reminisce about their visits, leading to the creation of budget-friendly, portable artworks. Over time, these paintings evolved into a distinct style, reflecting the cultural and religious ethos of the region. Methods and Techniques Kalighat paintings are known for their simplicity and spontaneity, created using natural pigments on paper or cloth. The artists, known as 'patuas' or 'kalighat painters,' often worked in groups with shared responsibilities of mixing dyes, drawing lines, or filing up the colors. In the search for income, these craftsmen catered to British patrons at one point, incorporating elements of European realism and secular subjects into their craft. The secular subjects like English sahibs riding elephants, wealthy Calcutta babus (liberalists), and fraud sadhus (holy men) succumbing to base desires reflect the social concerns of that period. Decline and Revival The art form of Kalighat declined due to the advent of cheaper wood prints and machine-printed alternatives by the early 20th century. However, in recent decades, efforts have been made to revive the Kalighat painting tradition by artists, government, and art connoisseurs. The combined efforts through exhibitions, and workshops have helped in showcasing the unique identity of Kalighat painting and regain its lost legacy. More here on our blog.  

    Product Details

    The Rose and the Broom: Babu Bibi Kalighat Painting by Bhaskar Chitrakar
    Bhaskar Chitrakar
    Art Style
    Water Color
    14 in(H) X 10 in(W)
    White, Green, Multicoloured
    Country of Origin
    West Bengal, India

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