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Kalighat painting - 'Yama the god of death'

'Yama the god of death'

  • Object:

    Kalighat painting

  • Place of origin:

    West Bengal
    Pingla
    Naya village (The patua village at Naya is home to over 300 working artist families, who live and work as a tightly knit community. They primarily work on longer scroll paintings, but some artists also produce Kalighat paintings. , painted)

  • Date:

    2005 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chitrakar, Sahajahan (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Organic pigments on handmade paper.

  • Museum number:

    IS.44-2011

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This painting combines the two different styles of patachitra (scroll painting) and Kalighat painting into one object. Alongside copies of traditional Kalighat paintings, Ranjit Chitrakar's younger family members work with him to create new variations on religious themes. This painting was designed by Ranjit Chitrakar's elder son. Two techniques have been used to create it. Around the four sides runs the continuous narrative of the tale of Yama, the Hindu god of death. This narrative is painted in patachitra style, with small two-dimensional figures in black and white on a coloured background. The central scene is painted in Kalighat style and shows Yama in the centre, with his two demon henchmen to right and left.

Physical description

A large rectangular painting, with a painted narrative border in black on white, detailing the tale of Yama, the god of death. The central section incorporates four maini colours, blue, green red and yellow. There are three main figures, Yama himself in the centre, and two of his demon henchmen on right and left. Artists licence has been taken over the depiction of Yama; usually he is shown as a green figure with a wrathful countenance. Here he is depicted in kingly form, with skin a traditional yellow shade. He may be representing his later form as Dharmaraja - dealer of justice to the dead and gentler than his more wrathful Yama aspect. His demon servants execute all sentences given by Yama.

Place of Origin

West Bengal
Pingla
Naya village (The patua village at Naya is home to over 300 working artist families, who live and work as a tightly knit community. They primarily work on longer scroll paintings, but some artists also produce Kalighat paintings. , painted)

Date

2005 (painted)

Artist/maker

Chitrakar, Sahajahan (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Organic pigments on handmade paper.

Dimensions

Height: 1110 mm, Width: 740 mm

Descriptive line

Kalighat painting 'Yama the god of death', by Sahajahan Chitrakar, Medinipur, West Bengal, 2005.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p.102 cat. no 90
Sinha, Suhashini, and Panda, C, eds. Kalighat Paintings from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2012. ISBN 1851776656.

Labels and date

Alongside copies of traditional Kalighat paintings, Ranjit Chitrakar's younger family members work with him to create new variations on religious themes. This painting was designed by Ranjit Chitrakar's elder son. Two techniques have been used to create it. Around the four sides runs the continuous narrative of the tale of Yama, the Hindu god of death. This narrative is painted in patachitra style, with small two-dimensional figures in black and white on a coloured background. The central scene is painted in Kalighat style and shows Yama in the centre, with his two demon henchmen to right and left. [October 2011 - May 2012]

Materials

Handmade paper; Plant pigment

Techniques

Hand painted

Categories

Paintings; Hinduism

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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