With a heritage and culture as vibrantly rich as India, it should not be surprising that art would flourish as steadily as it has. With its influence reaching as far as China in ancient times; art, religion, music and culture has enjoyed their fair share of time in the spotlight.
A travelling affectionate couple in Kalighat style
Kalighat originated from Kolkata in the vicinity of Kali temple. With the temple’s rise in popularity, local visitors, foreigners and pilgrims would regularly flock to the Kali temple. Local artists and craftsmen then began to use this to their advantage, selling affordable tourist souvenirs.
This led to a rise in skilled artisans who developed a style that sat well with visitors to the temple, resulting in Kalighat.
Kalam Patua, who pioneered the modern wave of Kalighat, speaks about his story
As India moved on, the art of Kalighat became increasingly popular especially with foreign countries. Very soon, countries like Germany and Britain were duplicating originals taking advantage of the demanding market. That came at a high cost, decreased the demand for traditional artisans in India.
Today, artisans are reviving the lost style and have cleverly applied modern day scenarios to it. One such artist is Kalam Patua who pioneered the modern wave to bring relevance and importance back to the lost art.
With the rise in one of India’s beloved art styles, we look forward to a wider appreciation of the country’s art scene.