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  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lal Ghosh, Kanai (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

A Khaligat line drawing, in black paint on paper, in the Natural History tradition, of a cat with a fish in its mouth illustrating a Bengali proverb of Hindu priests publically abstaining from eating meat or fish but secretly indulging in private.

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)


ca. 1920 (made)


Lal Ghosh, Kanai (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Drawn in black paint on paper


Height: 18 in, Width: 11 in

Object history note

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. Originally purchased at Kalighat in 1932 from the artist Kanhai Lal Ghosh b. 1907). When the pictures were acquired, this artist was no longer painting, the school having ended in about 1925.

Descriptive line

Drawing, cat with a fish in its mouth. by Kanai Lal Ghosh, paint on paper, Kalighat, Kolkata, ca. 1920

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

Archer, W.G (1971) 'Kalighat Painting' London, HMSO.
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.


Paint; Paper



Subjects depicted

Cat; Fish


Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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