Country in the north-east of the Indian subcontinent, bounded in the south by the Bay of Bengal, on the south-east by Burma (Myanmar) and on all other sides by India. Although a small country of 144,000 sq. km, it supports a population of 147 million (2006 estimate). The region formed part of British India, and in 1947, on partition of the subcontinent at the time of independence, it became East Pakistan. In 1971, following civil war with West Pakistan, it established itself as the independent state of Bangladesh with its capital at Dhaka (Dacca). This entry focuses mainly on the art produced in the country since 1971. For art of the area in earlier times see appropriate sections of Indian subcontinent and entries for Dhaka, Gaur and Rajshahi.
In terms of geography, much of Bangladesh is a vast delta traversed by numerous rivers (see fig.). The climate is monsoonal, with high humidity throughout the year. Coastal areas are particularly susceptible to cyclonic storms. Of the population, 98% are ...