WHAT IS MADHUBANI ART?
Madhubani paintings mostly depict people and their association with nature and scenes and deities from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MADHUBANI PAINTINGS
1. When Rama and Sita tied the knot, Madhubani style of painting was born - 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 the Madhubani style of painting was born.
2. Believe it or not, Madhubani paintings prevent deforestation - 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.
3. Once on mud walls, today- on canvas to bangles - During the traditional times, this type of paint 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 clothes. People are also doing Madhubani artwork on utensils and even bangles.
4. Discovered by William G. Archer - Madhubani paintings were unknown to the outside world until discovered by the British colonial William G. Archer. While inspecting the damage after the massive Bihar earthquake of 1934, Archer was amazed by the beautiful illustrations on the newly exposed interior walls of homes.
ORIGIN OF THE ART:
Madhubani painting (Mithila painting) was traditionally created by the women of various communities in the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent. It originated from the Madhubani district of the Mithila region of Bihar. This painting as a form of wall art was practiced widely throughout the region; the more recent development of painting on paper and canvas mainly originated among the villages around Madhubani, and it is these latter developments that led to the term "Madhubani art" being used alongside "Mithila Painting.
The colors used in Madhubani paintings are usually derived from plants and other natural sources. These colors are often bright and pigments like lampblack and ochre are used to create black and brown respectively. Instead of contemporary brushes, objects like twigs, matchsticks, and even fingers are used to create the paintings. You won’t be able to find a minutest empty space in the Madhubani paintings. If there was any gap left, artists used to fill the void by depicting dazzling flowers, birds, geometric patterns, and animals.
TYPES OF MADHUBANI PAINTINGS
Kayastha - This special form of Madhubani art is supposed to depict characteristics such as fertility and life. These types of Madhubani Paintings can be seen on the wall art of Kohbar Ghar (The Nuptial Chamber).
Bharni - The main subject matter of such paintings were the stories and life events from the religious epics of Hindu deities such as Krishna, Durga, Kali, and Vishnu.
Tatoo - Jamuna Devi, is known as the first Dalit (scheduled caste) who actually started her hand on art. It was the tattoo form of Madhubani art that drew her attention. These types of paintings generally depicted the stories of King Rajesh, Moon, Sun, and Rahu.
CONCEPT BEHIND MADHUBANI PAINTING
The Madhubani paintings are often drawn according to a fixed theme and accordingly lines, patterns, and symbols are drawn by the Madhubani artists. For example, the fish symbol is often used to represent fertility, procreation, and good luck while peacocks are often used to symbolize religion, love and romance and serpents stand are often used to represent divine protectors.
Madhubani painting has now been adopted in designing on fabric, canvas, glass bottle, cloth, etc.
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