An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century
Lot 303
An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes
Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century
Sold for £110,500 (US$ 187,716) inc. premium
Auction Details
An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century
Lot Details
An impressive group of 61 Kalighat paintings, depicting Hindu deities, various figures from Hindu mythology and domestic scenes
Kalighat, Bengal, second half of the 19th Century
pencil, watercolour and silver paint on paper, each painting tipped in along its left margin to a sheet of slightly larger paper, many with English identifying inscriptions written in pencil opposite each painting, numbered in top left corners, in a later European album
paintings 450 x 285 mm. and slightly smaller; album 480 x 330 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection.
    Sotheby's, Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, 27th April 1994, lot 139 (one painting more than the present lot).

    A large and diverse group of paintings from this charming and popular genre, with its bold strokes and vibrant colours, on a larger scale than most Indian painting, ranging from well-known depictions of Hindu deities and stories from Hindu mythology, striking images such as a cat with a prawn in its mouth (see inside cover), to an unusual group of satirical depictions of the domestic life of the Bengali babu set in European-style interiors.

    The Kalighat painters (patuas) originated at the famous temple of the same name, two miles from the centre of Calcutta, devoted to the cult of the goddess Kali (see inside cover for a graphic depiction of the goddess). Originally situated on the banks of the Hooghly river, a Kalighat temple has existed since the 15th Century, though the present temples date from the early 19th Century. Kalighat patas were painted on the spot – as reflected in their fluid style - where a steady flow of pilgrims provided a ready market.

    By the mid-19th Century the East India Company had brought prosperity to the Bengali middle classes and the painters' subject-matter evolved, from Kali and other Hindu deities associated with the cult, to the foibles of the Bengali babu and urban domestic life, subjects ripe for satire. The paintings had been collected by the British from the mid-19th Century, but it was the development of the Bengal School of painting in the early 20th Century which led to Kalighat painting coming to greater prominence. The first article on it by Ajit Ghose appeared in the journal Rupamin in 1926. Ghose's own collection was subsequently acquired by the Birla family. Jamini Roy was directly inspired in his own work by Kalighat themes and in some ways its style.

    W. G. Archer wrote extensively on Kalighat painting and more recently Chester and Davida Herwitz formed an important collection from material appearing on the London market in the 1970s and 1980s. Kalighat watercolours have appeared in exhibitions over the years and in 2011 the Victoria and Albert Museum collaborated with the Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta for an important exhibition devoted solely to the school. They are found in most Western museum collections of Indian painting, including those of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the University of Pennsylvania Museum (Maxwell Somerville Collection, 1895), and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio. In India, apart from the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi and the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, there are those in the Birla Collection and the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Collection, Hyderabad.

    Other large groups of Kalighat paintings have been sold in these rooms: Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, 10th April 2008, lot 136 (27 paintings); 8th October 2009, lot 315 (30 paintings); 5th April 2011, lot 312 (55 paintings).

    For further references see:
    M. Dey, 'Drawings and Paintings of Kalighat' in Advance, Calcutta 1932
    W. G. Archer, Bazaar Paintings of Calcutta: the Style of Kalighat, London 1953
    W. G. Archer and A. Bose, Kalighat drawings, from the Basant Kumar Birla collection, formerly Ajit Ghosh collection, Bombay 1962
    W. G. Archer, Kalighat Paintings, London 1971
    B. Khanna, Indian Popular Painting 1800-1930, London 1993
    J. Jain, Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World, Ahmedabad 1999
    S. Sinha and C. Panda, Kalighat Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkatta, Ahmedabad 2011


    The subjects of the paintings are as follows (references, where made, are to Archer (1971) and Jain (1999)):

    1. Sarasvati playing the vina. (Jain fig. 91)
    2. Annapurna and Siva. (Jain fig. 78)
    3. Siva seated with a musical instrument.
    4. The coronation of Rama, with Lakshman and Hanuman. (Archer, pl. 15).
    5. Ganesh.
    6. Siva with Durga.
    7. Krishna at the foot of a mountain, saving the young prince Prahlad.
    8. Sarasvati with her owl.
    9. Hari-Hara, the composite form of Vishnu and Siva.
    10. Vamana quelling Bali (Archer, pl. 8).
    11. Krishna and Yashoda churning butter.
    12. Krishna described as a woman serenading Radha on the violin (Archer, pl. 52).
    13. Siva and Parvati enthroned.
    14. Kartika (Karttikeya) riding a peacock.
    15. Rama in battle with his sons Lav and Kush (Jain fig. 168)
    16. Jagaddhatri, Mother of the Universe. (Jain fig. 172)
    17. Siva and Parvati with Hanuman.
    18. Siva's marriage. (Jain fig. 74)
    19. Yashoda cradling Krishna.
    20. Siva enthroned with Parvati, Nandi beneath them (Jain, fig. 76).
    21. A Jagannath trio.
    22. A young female devotee imploring Krishna and Balarama.
    23. Siva riding Nandi. (Archer, pl. 75).
    24. Balakrishna: Krishna stealing the butter ball.
    25. The goddess Ganga (Jain, fig. 15).
    26. Krishna and Balarama.
    [27.]
    28. Hanuman with Rama and Sita enshrined in his heart.
    29. Lakshmi and Sarasvati (Jain, fig. 175).
    30. Krishna and Balarama (Jain fig. 174).
    31. The goddess Kali. (Jain, frontispiece).
    32. Kali with a devotee.
    33. Krishna quelling Jatayu the giant stork.
    34. [Subject unidentified]
    35. Krishna fluting to Radha.
    36. The composite figure of Rama (represented by the arms holding a bow and arrow), Krishna (the torso with arms playing a flute) and Chaitanya (or Gaur, a Vaishnavite saint, the rest of the body): Jain, fig. 157).
    37. The union of Radha and Krishna.
    38. Vastra-Haran: Dusshasana disrobing Draupadi.
    39. Krishna milking a cow.
    40. Krishna caressing Radha's foot. (Jain fig. 81)
    41. A maiden worshipping at a lingam shrine.
    42. Sita bringing water from the pool with her son Lava; or, Yashoda holding Krishna by the hand (Archer, pl. 73).
    43. Siva and Parvati enthroned.
    44. A man in European dress and a woman in a passionate embrace in an interior. (for this type (44-48), cf. Archer, pls. 56-63).
    45. A man in European dress and a woman reclining on a couch in a passionate embrace in an interior.
    46. A bride and bridegroom in an interior.
    47. A bridegroom carrying his bride over the threshold; or, a courtesan embracing a lover.
    48. A couple embracing.
    49. Ganga.
    50. Sarasvati with her owl.
    51. Jagaddhatri. (Jain, fig. 172).
    52. A horse with an elaborate ceremonial caparison.
    53. The coronation of Rama. (Jain fig. 119)
    54. A maiden in a state of déshabille in a European-style interior.
    55. A maiden, or a courtesan, seated holding a flower (called Meera).
    56. The composite figure of Rama, Krishna and Chaitanya.
    57. A woman brandishing a broom at an ascetic. (Jain, fig. 8)
    58. An ascetic suckling at a woman's breast.
    59. Two maidens dancing.
    60. A woman beating a man with a broom (cf. Jain fig. 134)
    61. Siva carrying away Sati from her father Daksha's sacrifice. (Jain figs. 166, 167).
    62. A cat with a prawn in its mouth.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Oliver White
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8303
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8283