Images such as this are known as Kalighat paintings, after the famous Kalighat temple in Kolkata (Calcutta) dedicated to Kali, the fearsome goddess of time and death. From around 1830, distinctive, quickly painted souvenirs were produced in large numbers for visitors who flocked to the temple. The images were intended to aid domestic worship and typically illustrate Hindu deities. Later, mass-produced prints replaced Kalighat paintings. The Hindu gods and goddesses were popular subjects for the Kalighat artists. Balarama is the elder brother of the Hindu god Krishna. Here we see Balarama with a plough in his left hand, associating him with agriculture. His right foot raised to suggest music and dance.Balarama is accompanied by his wife Revati who had travelled from an earlier yuga (time period) to
Balaram and his wife
watercolour with silver paint on paper
45.2 x 28.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 3 publications
Kate Brittlebank, TAASA Review, "Postscript: Kalighat's Missionaries', pg. 23, Sydney, Dec 2003.
Kate Brittlebank, Journal of the History of Collections, 'Anthropology, fine art and missionaries: The Berndt Kalighat album rediscovered', pg.127-142, Oxford, May 2008.
Kate Brittlebank, TAASA Review, 'Unexpected Connections: An Australian Kalighat Album Reunited', pg. 4-5, Sydney, Mar 2006.