Madhubani painting originated in a small village of Bihar state of india, known as Mithila. In older times, the women of the village drew the paintings on the walls of their home. With time, the paintings started becoming a part of festivities and special events,like marriage. Slowly , the Madhubani painting of India crossed the traditional boundaries and started reaching admirers of art, both at the national as well as the international level.
Madhubani painting/Mithila painting was traditionally created by the women of the Brahman, Dusadh and Kayastha communities in Mithila region in Nepal and India. It was originated in Madhubhani village of Capital city of Ancient Mithila known as Janakpur.
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 has received international and national attention.
Initialy Madhubani paintings were done on the traditional base of freshly plastered mud wall of huts.But now they are being done on various bases like cloth, handmade paper and canvas.Madhubani paintings make use of three-dimensional images and the colors that are used are derived mainly from plants.
The themes on which these paintings are based include nature and mythological events.
Themes of the Madhubani paintings of Bihar include Hindu deities like Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga and Saraswati. The natural themes that are used include the Sun, the Moon and the religious plants like tulsi.Madhubani paintings mostly depict the men & its association with nature and the scenes & deity from the ancient epics.
We can also find paintings based on scenes from the royal courts and social events, like weddings.It is believed that king Janaka had commissioned the artists in his kingdom to paint the royal wedding of his daughter Janaki/Sita to lord Rama in this art form. If any empty space is left after painting the main theme, it is filled up with the motifs of flowers, animals and birds or geometric designs.
The artists prepare the colors that are used for the paintings naturally from things like cow dung, turmeric,red sandalwood,rice powder,leaves of trees,vegetables etc. There is no shading in the application of colors. A double line is drawn for outlines and the gap is filled with either cross or straight tiny lines. The linear Madhubani paintings do not even require application of colors, only the outlines are drawn.
Examples of Madhubani painting :
Courtesy- Google images