The Kalighat painting flourished from 1830-1930 and is
regarded as the most authentic art form of the period in
Kolkata (Calcutta). Earlier, the general term
Patuas of Kalighat
was being used for the paintings, as these were believed to be influenced
heavily by the artwork of the Bengal's village
patuas, who had settled in an area called Patuapura near the Kalighat temple.
These paintings, which are executed in water-colours, have intense vitality and
voluptuous line that gives a unique sensuality of the full-rounded forms to the
subject. It has diverse themes ranging from the full iconography of the gods and
goddesses of the Hindu pantheon to the common men and women in day-to-day life
The performing arts like jatra,
padavali, swang and kirtan had profound influence on
the themes of the Kalighat paintings.