If you are hearing about Madhubani paintings for the first time, you might wonder, ‘Who is this Madhubani?’ Well, it is not a ‘who’; it is a ‘what’!
Yes, Madhubani is a style of art painting that is still in practice in certain parts of Bihar, especially Mithila. Since this style of painting originated in Mithila region, it is also known as Mithila paintings.
Here are the 5 things about Madhubani paintings you never knew.
1. When Rama and Sita tied knot, Madhubani style of painting was born
Mithila paintings; you hear the name and right away you know there is a connection between this style of painting and Ramayana, right? And yes, there is.
The origin of this style of painting is related to the famous ‘Sita Kalyan’. It’s said that King Janaka, father of Sita, arranged quite a number of artists to create paintings of the marriage. According to history, this is when Madhubani style of painting was born.
2. Believe it or not, Madhubani paintings prevent deforestation
Artists from Bihar are using Madhubani paintings as a way to prevent trees from being cut down. But, how can simple paintings stop people from cutting down trees?
These artists of this region are drawing Madhubani paintings on these trees and since the paintings mostly depict Hindu deities, people restrain from cutting them down.
According to a report from BBC, “The Madhubani artists believe that they are showing the world how an art form can be used to convey a strong social message ‘in an effective way’.”
3. Once on mud walls, today- on canvas to bangles
It is the women who live in rural areas of Bihar do the traditional ‘Madhubani art’. But today, things have changed and now this style is popular not only among the people of India, but also among the people of other countries, especially US and Japan.
During the traditional times, this type of painting used to be done on mud walls of houses that were freshly plastered. Now, you would find Madhubani paintings on canvas, cushions, paper or even cloths. People are also doing Madhubani artwork on utensils and even bangles.
4. It is n’t just Gods you can see in Madhubani paintings
Hindu mythologies and deities has always been a prolific presence in the Madhubani paintings and it still is. These paintings are mostly about Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Lakshmi, Durga etc. At times, events like weddings have also made it to the canvas of Madhubani paintings. Whatever space is left on the surface is never left alone and the space is filled with some simple paintings of flowers or even geometric designs.
5. There are Exclusive Madhubani Painting Art Galleries around the World
Today, many exclusive art galleries for Madhubani paintings can be found in India and even overseas.
The MITHILAsmita is an organization formed by some entrepreneurs for carrying on the tradition of Mithila paintings. This art gallery is located in Bengaluru, India. Apart from the art gallery, they also organize exhibitions for these paintings time to time.
In Japan, there is one ‘Mithila Museum’, which has over 850 Madhubani paintings. The museum also conducts research and also works for the publicity of these paintings.
In the town of Madhubani, there is also a ‘Mithila Art Institue’, which stands for the development of Madhibani paintings and also for the training of young artists.
Now that you know this much about Madhubani paintings, what do you think about its future? Will it be a major art form from India? Share your opinions with us in comments.