Friday, 27 May 2011

Mithila Painting-- some useful informations

Madhubani paintings, (also referred to as Mithila Art as it flourishes in the Mithila region of Bihar), are characterized by line drawings based on mythological themes, in bright colours and decorative borders. They are so called because they originated in and around a large agricultural town in Bihar, Madhubani or 'Forest of Honey'.
Originally, Madhubani Paintings were executed on freshly plastered mud walls, on religious occasions or weddings. Each painting was a prayer and an accompaniment to meditation. Well executed paintings were believed to be inhabited by the deities depicted in them. The colors used in these paintings were made from Natural Dyes. Today, Madhubani Paintings are made on silk, Handmade paper, cloth, canvas etc for commercial purposes. The use of chemical dyes and paints have resulted in brighter multicolored paintings.
Madhubani art came to the notice of the rest of the country in the 1960s. Bihar had been hit by a terrible drought and the government decided to promote Madhubani Paintings to create an alternative non agricultural source of earning. The All-India Handicrafts Board encouraged the artists
Madhubani paintings are mostly made by Hindu village women who traditionally passed on this skill from mother to daughter.

There is a caste hierarchy involved in the making of Madhubani paintings. The Brahmins, people of the highest caste, depict images of Gods and Goddesses and use all kinds of bright colours such as red, yellow, blue and lemon. The second in the hierarchy are the Kayasthas, who paint religious themes and motifs, but use only red and black colors. The lowest caste, the Dusadhs, paint religious themes but use more of the Gondhna or Tattoo art and usually depicts flora and fauna in repetitive motifs.

Even today, most of the Madhubani artists' work remains anonymous. Few women like to mark their paintings with their names, and are quite reluctant to consider themselves individual producers of "works of art".

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am from Noida, UP and I would like to learn Madhubani paintings to make in my house etc.
    Right now I am trying to copy paintings that I found on Google images and I use acrylic and oil-paint on paper and canvas.
    I would like to learn the more authentic way to paint on cloth. Could you please provide some info on which cloth to use (which one is easier to paint on and the most long lasting and looks best), also which paint (acrylic, fabric, poster, ink etc) and brushes (sticks or brushes to use esp for black outline)...I would be happy if you could express your opinion on my attempts to paint Mithila style:


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