Souvenir Painting of a Cat Holding a Prawn in Its Mouth
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
Professional artists working at Kalighat drew inspiration from and offered critiques of contemporary life and events in Calcutta. 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.