Biral Tapasvi (Cat Hermit)

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Bahnisikha Dey
by Unknown Artist
published on 24 October 2023
Biral Tapasvi (Cat Hermit) Download Full Size Image

This Kalighat painting is based on a Bengali folklore where a cat poses as a monk on an island full of mice. The cat later proves them wrong for their initial lack of belief through saintly behavior. He then consumes the offspring of several mice after gaining the respect of his peers. It is assumed that this is a portrayal of ascetics in a form of artistic mockery. This illustration originates from Kolkata, India. It was done on paper with watercolor and is dated around 1890s (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Artist, U. (2023, October 24). Biral Tapasvi (Cat Hermit). World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Artist, Unknown. "Biral Tapasvi (Cat Hermit)." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 24, 2023.

MLA Style

Artist, Unknown. "Biral Tapasvi (Cat Hermit)." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 24 Oct 2023. Web. 23 Jul 2024.