West Bengal Paintings

Paintings from West Bengal

The contemporary scrolls and paintings of Montu Chitrakar come from the distinct patachitra scroll tradition in the state of West Bengal. The patachitra scrolls may portray stories from the great Hindu epics, such as the Ramayana, and Sufi traditions which are also sung frame by frame. The scrolls by the young painter Montu Chitrakar venture even further into current affairs, history and other subjects outside of the traditional canon. His subjects include not only the Ramayana but the recent Gujerat earthquake and bloodly Hindu/Muslim religious riots, and incongruously even the story of the French Revolution. These scrolls are also painted with vegetable dyes fixed with a vegetable gum on paper. The panels are sewn together and fabric from old saris is glued to the back to strengthen the scroll. Individual paintings by Montu Chitrakar may resemble single panels from these same scroll stories, or independent images of wild animals and scenes from his imagination.

King Harichandra

Bengali artist Montu Chitrakar
(photo courtesy of Minhazz Majumdar).

Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

Tiger and Antelopes
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
2004
Water-based paint on paper
(10" h. x 13 1/4" w. )

Jatayu

Worshipping the Shiva Linga
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(11" h. x 15" w.)

Bhishma

The Snake Goddess Manasa
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(15" h. x 11" w.)

Draupadi

Two Women
A. Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w.)

Shakuntala

Shiva and Consort
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w.)

Draupadi

Goddess
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w.)

Krishna & Balarama

Kalighat Cat
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
2004
Water-based paint on paper
(10 3/4" h. x 13 1/2" w.)

Meganathan

Two Tigers
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(11" h. x 14" w.)

Rama's anger

Shiva and Consort
Unknown artist - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w.)

Damayanthi

Montu Chitrakar

Lady in the moonlight

West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w. )

Lord Krishna

Scene from Ramayana
Attributed to Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(6 3/4" h. x 5" w.)

Lady giving alms

The Snake Goddess Manasa
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(7" h. x 5 1/2" w. )

Malabar Lady

Deer Hunters
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(7" h. x 5 1/2" w. )

A lady carrying a lamp

Kalighat Cat with Fish
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w. )

A lady carrying a lamp

Big Fish
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(11" h. x 14" w.)

A lady carrying a lamp

Two Tigers with Antelopes
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
2004
Water-based paint on paper
(11" h. x 14" w.)

A lady carrying a lamp

Three Tigers
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
Late 20th cent.
Water-based paint on paper
(14" h. x 11" w.)

A lady carrying a lamp

Tiger with Antelopes
Montu Chitrakar - West Bengal, India
2004
Water-based paint on paper
(15" h. x 11" w.)

A lady carrying a lamp

Shiva and Consort
Unknown artist - West Bengal, India
c.2000
Water-based paint on paper
(28" h. x 22" w.)

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