Insights of Tradition in Kalighat by Hasir Chitrakar

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Size : Medium
Dimensions : H- 14 | W- 11 Inches
Medium : Natural Colors on Paper

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About the Artwork +

In this Khaligat painting by Hasir Chitrakar, a scene unfolds with meticulous detail, capturing the essence of a cultural custom from 19th-century India. At its center, a barber leans in attentively, delicately cleaning a woman's ear, a task executed with precision and care. The strokes of black ink, watercolor, and tin paint on paper breathe life into this moment, offering viewers a vivid portrayal of everyday life in historical India. The vibrant hues of traditional Indian attire worn by both figures add depth and richness to the composition, while also providing a glimpse into the fashion of the era. Chitrakar's skillful rendering of the scene not only captures the physical act but also hints at the social dynamics and gender roles prevalent during that time. This painting serves as more than just a visual representation; it acts as a window into the past, inviting contemplation on the customs and occupations that shaped Indian society in the 1800s. It encourages viewers to reflect on the complexities of gender norms and the significance of seemingly mundane tasks within the cultural landscape. As we admire Chitrakar's work, it is essential to recognize its historical significance and value beyond mere commercial interest.

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All artworks on the website are hand painted from scratch by our master artists. That makes every artwork absolutely unique and the actual colour and overall artwork may vary slightly from the artwork image posted here.

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Hasir Chitrakar, hailing from Naya, West Bengal, is an accomplished artist renowned for his expertise in Bengal Pattachitra and Kalighat styles. With a rich artistic lineage as the son of Manoranjan Chitrakar, Hasir has been immersed in the world of painting since the tender age of 8. His passion for the craft runs deep, evident in his dedication to preserving and showcasing traditional art forms.

One of Hasir's notable achievements includes creating a stunning mural adorning the walls of the Pingla police station. However, his artistic endeavors extend beyond his hometown, as he has traveled to various cities like Delhi and Chennai, participating in exhibitions alongside his father. Hasir's favorite project remains his time spent teaching Kalighat and Bengal Pattachitra at an educational center in Kanpur, reflecting his commitment to passing down his craft to future generations. In his Kalighat paintings, Hasir often depicts deities and celestial beings, infusing his artwork with spiritual and cultural significance. Additionally, he showcases his versatility by exploring other mediums such as Chauk Pot and wall plate paintings, adding depth and diversity to his artistic repertoire.


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

Insights of Tradition in Kalighat by Hasir Chitrakar
Hasir Chitrakar
Art Style
Natural Colors
14 in(H) X 11 in(W)
Pink, White, Black, Blue
Country of Origin
West Bengal, India

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