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Appropriating Realism: the Transformation of Popular Visual Iconography in Late- Nineteenth-Century Calcutta

Taylor and Francis
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  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy


This paper examines a particular period in the art history of colonial Bengal where the transformations in the visual culture of Bengal stemmed primarily from the free percolation and circulation of the stylistic category of academic realism. It focuses on the dissemination of academic realism through the formal levels of teaching in art schools and more fully on the way this fluid category of realism with its range of new norms and techniques began to be adopted by local painters – who had no formal training in art – at the popular level of print production.

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