Madhubani painting – A folk art

This folk art painting originated in a small town Madhubani in Bihar, India. This is known as Mithila painting or Madhubani painting of Bihar . This art is characterised for its distinctive style, bright colours and natural paints. Today this art is popular not only in India but is very popular internationally.
The time of origination is not very clear. According to a legend it came into vogue during the time of Ramayan. At the time of sita’s wedding his father King Janak ordered the artists to decorate the city. Initially women use to paint on the walls and doors of their homes. Today also you can find this art done in many houses in Mithila.
Theme of Madhubani painting is religious and revolve around Hindu deities like, Krishna, Shiv, Ram, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati. It also depict natural objects like sun, moon, holy basil (tulsi). It also include themes of social events like, wedding, child birth. The space left after the main theme is normally filled with designs of birds, animals, flowers and geometrical designs.
The brush used for the Madhubani painting is made of cotton wrapped around a bamboo stick. The paints used are natural colours, deep red is obtained from a flower (kusum), green from bel tree, light yellow from turmeric mixed with banyan leaf milk, blue from indigo and orange from palash flower.
For commercial purposes, these are done on hand made papers,cloths and canvas, but the theme and equipments of painting is still the same.
Few Madhubani designs.

Slowly and gradually this folk art of painting has crossed the traditional boundaries and reached the connoisseurs of art at national as well as international level.