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  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ghosh, Kali Charan (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by W.G. Archer.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, watercolour on paper, a seated courtesan with pink flesh tones, holding a huqqa in her right hand and a fan in her left, with sweeping black curves to highlight the sari borders.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1900 (made)


Ghosh, Kali Charan (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in watercolour on paper


Height: 20 cm, Width: 13 in

Object history note

Kali Charan Ghosh was the brother of Nibaran Chandra Gosh: they were two of the most prominent Kalighat painters in the second half of the 19th century. Originally purchased at Kalighat in 1932 from the family of the artist Kali Charan Ghosh (c. 1844-1930).

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 brushstrokes that became the hallmark of Kalighat painting in the 19th and early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Painting, seated courtesan smoking huqqa, by Kali Charan Ghosh, Kalighat, watercolour on paper, Kolkata, ca. 1900

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

fig. 79, cat. no. 36, iv: p.93.
Kalighat paintings : a catalogue and introduction / by W.G. Archer. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1971 Number: 0112900291 :


Watercolour; Paper; Paint



Subjects depicted

Huqqa; Courtesan; Fan


Drawings; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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