Indian and Himalayan Art
Souvenir Painting of a Cat Eating a FishMade in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Watercolor on paper
Currently not on view
1994-148-555Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994
LabelThe souvenir paintings made by professional painters at Kalighat depicted religious subjects as well as contemporary life and events. Although cats are unpopular as pets in India, the image of a cat-usually an orange, spotted one-eating some other animal was a frequent motif in Kalighat painting. It is said to represent a favorite object of ridicule, the hypocritical monk or religious ascetic who, although he has supposedly renounced the world, continues to indulge in pleasures of the flesh.