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Madhubani Art: A Modern Message from Ancient Times

Madhubani Art: A Modern Message from Ancient Times

Right from the beginning of civilization, India has always amazed the world with its different art forms and diversity. Madhubani paintings are famous for its acute detailing and convoluted details. This 2500 year old art is mostly known for showing religious symbols and historical references particularly from the era of Ramayana; the Madhubani art is a reflection of modern times and issues. Madhubani art was curated by women to depict their thoughts and to empower other women in the ancient & olden times.

Origin of Madhubani

Madhubani art is one of the oldest art forms of India. It is also known as Mithila Art, for being originated in Mithila, a town in Bihar. The art is known to be discovered by King Janak when he asked an artist to capture his daughter Sita’s wedding with Prince Ram. The paintings were mostly created by women, on the walls, roads, floor on the special occasions illustrating hope, dreams and thoughts.

Styles and Techniques

There are four styles and techniques that are used while making Madhubani art. The colors in Madhubani paintings were all made from natural resources like charcoal, turmeric, sandalwood, indigo etc.

  • Kachni means lines. The painting is made by using lines, horizontal and vertical. Fine pattern is made using shading and dabbing to create paintings with fine details. Double lines are used to draw borders.
  • Bharni refers to filling. In this technique the outline in the painting is done with black and enclosed areas are filled with bright colors like blue, yellow, red, pink etc.
  • Godna technique was less detailed than line painting and color painting.
  • Kohbar is a style which is drawn on paper by girls of marriageable age to send to boys of her choice as a marriage proposal.

Madhubani in the Modern World

Since its origin, Madhubani art has proven to be ahead of time with its message of women empowerment and many social issues through paintings. Even in today’s world, Madhubani is being practiced to spread social messages. In 2012, few artists from Madhubani district saved 100 trees from being cut down, by decorating the trees with the pictures of Hindu gods. This was a good initiative taken by the villagers to save unhealthy cutting of trees and reduce global warming.

Posted By Akshata

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