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. The earliest paintings were made for those visiting the bazaar 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. A similar example to the drawing of the cat offered here features in W.G. Archer, Kalighat Paintings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971, plate 55.