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Painting - Prawn with three fishes

Prawn with three fishes

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Calcutta (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1940 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr. S.K. Chatterjee

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Fresh water prawn shown with a pale blue body, red markings, whiskers and two long claws. Swimming about its head are three small catfishes in white and brown each with two long barbels. This is a 20th century copy of a Kalighat painting illustrating a proverb.

Place of Origin

Calcutta (made)


ca. 1940 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Object history note

Historical significance: Calcutta was recognised as the capital of British India from 1833-1912. By the 1830s, artists had arrived in Calcutta from rural villages in Bengal and began to produce paintings that reflected the 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 hall mark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Kalighat painting of a fresh water prawn with three cat fishes. Calcutta ca. 1940.

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

p. 71 and p. 38
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.
fig. 83, cat. no. 42, p. 96.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :


Watercolour; Silver; Paper



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Folk Art


South & South East Asia Collection

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