Memsahib (Madam): handpainted in Kalighat style by Manoranjan Chitrakar

Artist : Bapi Chitrakar
Size : Small
Dimensions : H: 1.8(ft) by 1.2(ft) | H: 22(in) by W: 14(in)
Medium : Natural Colors on Paper

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Artist


Manoranjan Chitrakar

"In West Bengal, the word chitrakar refers to patachitra painters. We have taken Chitrakar as our last name for hundreds of years" says Manoranjan aka Manu Chitrakar, who has been painting for 30 years since the age of 15. He enjoys depicting societal themes in his works. Manuji has travelled across India, as well as to Sweden and Paris. The Bengal Pattachitra is a visual and oral art tradition practised by West Bengal's Patuas or Chitrakars. Patua painters, who are Muslim by faith, represent a distinct and secular art history. They make a living by painting and singing stories from Hindu mythology, local folklore, Sufi tradition, and modern issues. Though the origins of the Patua tradition have been difficult for art historians to trace, some suggest the oral form dates back to the 10th or 11th century CE. The physical evidence of a scroll, on the other hand, does not occur until the 18th century CE.

 



Art Form

Kalighat

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.



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