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Kalighat painting - The Policeman's bribe

The Policeman's bribe

  • 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:

    2010 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chitrakar, Anwar (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Organic pigments on canvas.

  • Museum number:

    IS.49-2011

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Contemporary Kalighat paintings are often painted to reflect real-life scenarios, in the same way that the 19th century examples reflected events of the time such as the Tarakeshwar scandal. This scene shows local policemen arresting a villager, and forcefully taking her by the arm towards the police car. Her friend stands behind her ready to bribe the officer with money to let her go.

Physical description

The painting is on a large rectangular canvas. Unusually for a Kalighat painting, there are multiple characters - six in total. The three women depicted are village women, in traditional saris and large jewellery. The policemen are dressed in the khaki outfits of the West Bengal goverment police. The artist has included trees and a road as background scenery.

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

2010 (painted)

Artist/maker

Chitrakar, Anwar (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Organic pigments on canvas.

Dimensions

Height: 400 mm, Length: 700 mm

Descriptive line

Kalighat painting 'The policeman's bribe' by Anwar Chitrakar, Medinipur, West Bengal, 2010.

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

p.105 cat.no.95
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

The canvas surface absorbs watercolour differently, creating a shinier and more opaque look. Contemporary Kalighat paintings are often painted to reflect real-life scenarios, in the same way that the 19th century examples reflected events of the time such as the Tarakeshwar scandal. This scene shows local policemen arresting a villager, and forcefully taking her by the arm towards the police car. Her friend stands behind her ready to bribe the officer with money to let her go. [October 2011 - May 2012]

Materials

Canvas; Plant pigment

Techniques

Hand painted

Categories

Paintings

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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