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Nabin and Elokeshi

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ghosh, Nibaran Chandra (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawn in black paint on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by W.G. Archer.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Drawing, paint on paper, depicting an episode of the Tarakeshwar affair. Nabin and his wife Elokeshi embracing. Elokeshi is shown with her arms around her husband's neck protesting her innocence as Nabin forgives her.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1880 (made)


Ghosh, Nibaran Chandra (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Drawn in black paint on paper


Height: 505 mm maximum, Width: 280 mm maximum

Object history note

The Tarakeshwar murder case of 1873 was a public scandal in Calcutta based on an affair between Elokeshi the young attractive wife of Nabinchandra Banerji and the mahant or chief priest of the Shiva temple at Tarakeshwar. Upon discovery of the affair, on 27 May 1873 her jealous husband Nabinchandra Banerji cut Elokeshi's throat with a fish knife. In the trial that followed Nabin was sentenced to life imprisonment and the Mahant was fined and imprisoned for 3 years. Different variations of this affair favouring the various characters occur in several Bengali plays and Kalighat images between 1875-80. See Archer p12.

Historical significance: Calcutta was recognised as the Capital of British India from 1833-1912.By the 1830s, artists had arrived from rural villages in Bengal and began to produce paintings that reflected local history, mythology, customs and conflicts of a colonised society. As a popular art form, these artists are recognised for their use of brilliant colour, simplified images and swift brush strokes that became the hallmark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Drawing, Nabin and Elokeshi reconciled, by Nibran Chandra Ghosh, paint on paper, Kolkata, ca. 1880

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

Jain, J (1999) 'Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World', Ahmedabad, Mapin.
pl. 34, cat. no. 18,iii: p. 62.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :
p. 24, fig.36
Archer, W.G., Bazaar Paintings of Calcutta, Victoria & Albert Museum, H.M.S.O., 1955


Paint; Paper


Painted; Drawn

Subjects depicted



Drawings; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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