top of page
Art & Culture of Bihar
Madhubani Painting / Mithila Painting

Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Biharstate, India, and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, Holi, Surya Shasti, kali puja, Upanayanam,Durga Puja etc. The Mithila region, from which the name Mithila art is derived, is believed to have been the kingdom of King Janak. The exact location of it lies in present day Janakpur of Nepal.Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Biharstate, India, and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, Holi, Surya Shasti, kali puja, Upanayanam,Durga Puja etc.

 

The Mithila region, from which the name Mithila art is derived, is believed to have been the kingdom of King Janak. The exact location of it lies in present day Janakpur of Nepal.Madhubani art has five distinctive styles - Bharni, Katchni, Tantrik, Nepali and Gobar. In the 1960s Bharni, Kachni and Tantrik style were mainly done Brahman & Kayashth women, who are upper caste women in India and Nepal. Their themes were mainly religious, and they depicted Gods and Goddesses in their paintings. People of lower castes and classes included aspects of their daily life and symbols of Gods and Goddesses much more, in their paintings. The Godna and Gobar style is done by the Dalit and Dushadh communities. Of course, nowadays Madhubani has become a globalized art form, and difference in styles of various castes are distinct in the same way they may.

Named after the village where it originated, Madhubani paintings have spread the name of Bihar the world over. Although it is believed to be prevalent from the time of Ramayana, it acquired the deserved recognition only after 1950s. Earlier the paintings were drawn on mud plastered walls during important festivals and personal ceremonies. For commercial purposes, today they are made on handmade paper, canvas and different types of clothes. Images of Gods and Goddesses, natural subjects like Sun, Moon, Tulasi Plant, birds, animals and scened of wedding or other celebrations are the main themes of the painting. Even after so many years the method of production has not changed a bit. A bamboo sticks wrapped around with cotton is used as the paintbrush and colors used are all obtained from nature. For example, powdered rice is used as white color, red color comes from red sandalwood or kusam flower juice, yellow from turmeric.

 

bottom of page