20 February 2010

Madhubani Paintings.....an ancient traditional craft of Bihar

Recently while visiting a popular art market in Bangalore, I came across MADHUBANI PAINTINGS, an art form practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar....also called 'Mithila Paintings', they are delicate, intricate paintings which according to tradition, have originated from the time of Ramayana......

As explained to me by the craftsman, this is a traditional style of painting handed down through generations which is still practiced by whole families in Bihar. It was originally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts but is now also done on cloth, handmade paper & canvas. The style of painting requires skill & needs a special technique. Cotton is wrapped around  a bamboo stick which serves as a brush & this is then dipped in vegetable colours which are got from natural resources like soot (black), turmeric (yellow), wood apple tree leaves (green) etc to create paintings with attention to detail!!!

The paintings are very vivid in their description & usually represent mythology & daily customs. The figures are drawn using double lines, there is no gap or space left empty & the paintings depict a sense of joyousness.
The artist I met, also did mention to me that the fish (symbol for love, fertility) is very lucky for them & is a common motif in their work & they also tend to spend days completing a single painting.....phew!!! no wonder they alone can understand the art & demand a price for it.....

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