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Nabin and Elokeshi

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1875 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in watercolour and tin alloy on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.240-1961

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in watercolour and tin alloy on paper, an episode of the Tarakeshwar affair. The clerk Nabin holds a fish knife limply by his side whilst he supports the body of his wife Elokeshi, whose head he has severed.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)

Date

ca. 1875 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Painted in watercolour and tin alloy on paper

Dimensions

Height: 435 mm maximum, Width: 271 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.

Historical significance: Calcutta was 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 brushstrokes that became the hallmark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Painting, after the Tarakeshwar murder, Nabin and Elokeshi, watercolour and tin alloy on paper,. Kalighat, Kolkara, ca. 1875

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

Jain, J (1999) 'Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World', Ahmedabad, Mapin.
p.86
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.
pl. no. 37, cat. no. 15, iii: p.59.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :

Materials

Watercolour; Paper; Paint; Tin alloy

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Death; Husband; Death; Fish knife; Wife

Categories

Paintings; Folk Art; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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