Anonymous (Kalighat Pats)
15.5 x 10.7 in. / 50.8 x 35.6 cm.
Around the 1890s, numerous printmaking studios were established in Calcutta, each working with different artists to produce images on the same theme. Among them, paintings of Sundaris (‘beautiful women’), sensual portrayals of courtesans, became popular. Here is an image of Nalini Sundari seen playing a percussion instrument, most commonly a bayan table—one of the two “tabla” drums that is typically played with the left hand. Decked in expensive jewellery and wearing a ghungru (small metallic bells strung together and worn at the ankle by classical Indian dancers to aid their performance) on her right foot, the male gaze objectifies the figure as a tawaif— who were highly skilled courtesans, excelling in the arts of dance, music, theatre, poetry and etiquette. Nalini is only dressed in a translucent white saree with black borders, a palette that identifies her as a courtesan.
|Art Artist Names Single
|Anonymous (Kalighat Pats)