The various designs in Madhubani paintings

Madhubani art, as the name suggests, traces its roots to Madhubani or Mithila in Bihar in India and also adjoining regions in Nepal. This art form is therefore is also known as Mithila art. The beautiful art form represents the traditional India. The unique and important element of this art form is the border, usually depending on the size of the canvas, which makes the painting look complete. The art form is believed to have originated during the Ramayana era.

Traditionally, while these paintings were done by the women on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas at present. These incorporate two-dimensional imagery and the colours used are derived from plants. The unique characteristic of these paintings are that it’s for each festival and occasions like birth, marriage, holi, surya shasti, kali puja, durga puja, diwali and the sacred thread ceremony.

Originally the paintings depicted an assembly of symbolic images of the sun, moon, lotus plant, the bamboo grove, fishes, birds and snakes in union. These images represent prosperity, proliferation of life. Mostly used colours in these paintings are deep colours like red, green, blue and black. Besides, deep colours other colours like yellow, pink, and lemon are also used.

There are various styles of Madhubani painting: Kachni—which is only line work, usually monochrome; Bharni, wherein the subjects are filled with solid colours, and Godhana where the figures appear in concentric circles on parallel lines. Besides, there Bhittichitra and Aripana which are used for creation of paintings on wall and floor respectively.

Mithila painting is thus a representation of domestic ritual activities, culture of India as well as beauty of nature and life.

Posted By Abhilasha

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