West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's popularity as a painter has exceeded that of some of the greats such as Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy or even Rabindranath Tagore himself.
Two painting exhibitions opened in the city roughly around the same time and while the chief minister's brush strokes at one of them are packing in the crowds and raking in the moolah, the immortal works of the Bengal masters in the other have been largely ignored.
Banerjee's show has around 250 exhibits and they are being lapped up.
"No one except Siddhartha Tagore, who inaugurated the show, was present on the inaugural day (at the show where the greats' paintings are being exhibited)," said Prakash Kejriwal, owner of the Chitrakoot, the city's oldest commercial art gallery, on Friday.
On the other hand, about 30 paintings by Mamata, mostly the large-sized ones priced at Rs. 3 lakh each, were sold by Thursday.
To protect the paintings and avoid embarrassment, Kejriwal has locked up the room. "We will open it for visitors if anybody comes. But none has come so far," Kejriwal said.