Summer Kantha by Unknown Artist

Kanthas are embroidered quilts from Bengal, usually made from old lengths of patched material.


Cotton thread & embroidery on cotton
180 x 116 cm
Art Fund grant:
£300 ( Total: £1,200)
Acquired in:
Joss Graham Gallery

This one, however, is from a simple unpatched piece of unbleached cotton. Although the identity of the embroiderer is not known the name of the person who commissioned the kantha, Sri Kali Nath Rakshit, has been incorporated into the embroidery. The central floral medallion is surrounded by borders of lively human and animal figures, including soldiers and horses. Auspicious paisley (or buta) and fish motifs also appear. Most of the embroidery is in running stitch, the most popular stitch used for kanthas, although the double running stitch and backstitch have also been used. This kantha recalls a number of traditions, including rangolis or floor paintings, and Kalighat paintings.


Commissioned for Sri Kali Nath Rakshit; dealer in Bombay.

Venue details

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery Lister Park, West Yorkshire, BD9 4NS, Bradford West Yorkshire BD9 4NS 01274 431 212

Entry details

Free to all

Tue – Fri, 10am – 4pm, Sat & Sun from 11am

Closed 25 and 26 Dec, 1 Jan and Good Friday