The Kalighat paintings developed in the 19th century in the Bengal presidency. The travelling scroll painters or the patuas had been practising folk art of Pattachitra. The new manners and customs of the British settlers, the revivalist exercises of the Mughal and theatres as well as the use of Sanskrit on stage was absorbed by the rural artists who had migrated to Calcutta and developed it into a popular urban genre. The period of Kalighat paintings coincides with the age of mechanical reproduction in the form of woodcut, lithography, oleography and printing. These developments had caused mass consumption of imagery in the urban cities and Kalighat was a response to it. The Kalighat painters interacted with the colonial paintings and began the use of water colours, shaded figures, folio-sized mill made papers. They absorbed the role of the western theatre performances and the art schools which developed the unique stylistic features of the Kalighat paintings as we know them today. More here on our blog.