One of the finest art forms in India’s rich artistic culture, Madhubani painting has its roots in the Mithila region of Bihar. An art form that originated in the times of Ramayana by Raja Janak, the father of deviSita and the then king of Mithila, it is practiced by classical artists in three forms, wall-painting (bhittichitra), canvas painting (patachitra) and floor painting(aripana)and is the cultural identity of Bihar. While the styles of paintings have been changing from generation to generation, Madhubani paintings generally depict the figures of deities, Gods, elements in nature, humans and animals as well as some geometrical shapes. Designs on Madhubani handloom sarees are characterized by vibrant colors, mythological theme with underlying symbolism and traditional geometric patterns supporting the theme.Recognized worldwide, madhubani sarees have succeeded in creating a place for themselves in the international house of fame. So it’s only appropriate to know more about this incredible art form more.
Interesting Facts about Madhubani Paintings:
- The origin of Madhubani painting is related to the famous ‘Sita Kalyan’. It is said that King Janaka, father of Sita, commissioned several artists to create paintings on the occasion of his daughter’s marriage to Lord Ram.
- Madhubani paintings are known to prevent deforestation! How, you may ask -the artists of this region draw Madhubani paintings depicting Hindu deities on the trees so people restrain from cutting them down out of reverence.
- An art that originated to adorn mud walls of houses that were freshly plastered and mainly done by rural women of Bihar, today Madhubani paintings adorn canvases, cushions, paper and even cloths including sarees.
- The brush used for Madhubani paintings is made of cotton and wrapped around on a bamboo stick.
- Natural dyes are used for coloring. Eg: Black color is made by adding soot to cow dung and yellow color is obtained by combining turmeric with the milk of banyan leaves.
- A double line is drawn for outlines and the gap is filled with either cross or straight tiny lines. In Madhubani, there is no shading in the application of colors.
- Madhubani paintings depict mythological scenes from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata and deities such as Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga, Ganesha and Saraswati.
- Royal court scenes and weddings also find their way in these paintings.
- It includes simple geometric patterns and even plant and animal forms including birds, fish and the very popular ‘tree of life’as aesthetic fillers.
- Owing to its popularity, today, many exclusive art galleries for Madhubani paintings can be found in India and around the world in countries like Japan.