• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 346

    A Kalligat Painting of Hanuman illustrating his Devotion to Ram and Sita


    Price Realised  


    A Kalligat Painting of Hanuman illustrating his Devotion to Ram and Sita
    India, Calcutta, 19th Century
    Watercolour heightened with silver on buff paper, Hanuman kneels holding between his hands a panel depicting his devotion to Rama and Sita, mounted, framed and glazed
    17¾ x 10¾ in. (45.1 x 26.8 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Kalligat paintings originated in the 19th Century as a souvenir item associated with the Kalligat temple in Calcutta and gradually transformed into a distinguished school of painting of their own. They are characterized by fields of bold watercolours, applied onto paper in loose and wide brushstrokes. The figures are modelled with simple shadows into gently rounded forms, their faces with elongated eyes, against flat backgrounds. The earliest paintings were made for those visiting the bazaar associated with the temple, who wanted Hindu deities, including Krishna, Shiva and, of course, Kali, the mother goddess. Over time, painters embraced a wider range of subjects, including genre scenes and contemporary events. Kalligat paintings served as commentaries on social and political events, but paintings of these themes were necessarily smaller and summarily painted to meet the increasing demand. Paintings of classical subjects of Hindu icons are prized for their timelessness.