Mithila Painting - The Ancient Mystical Art

Sunday, May 2, 2010

History of Mithila Painting: An Introduction

The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting are shrouded in antiquity. Tradition states that this style of painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at the time of marriage of his daughter Sita to Lord Rama.

Madhubani painting has been done traditionally by the women of villages around the present town of Madhubani (the literal meaning of which is forests of honey) and other areas of Mithila. Located between the Himalayan foothills and the Ganges plains, the Mithila was the first Aryan Kingdom, 1500 B.C. It was there that the founder of the Jainism was born, and also where Lord Buddha found the enlightenment. The region situated between Nepal and Bihar/UP state in India today is collectively known as Mithila.

The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, hand-made paper and canvas. This art is one of the traditional skills that are passed down from generation to generation. Originally they paint figures from nature and myth on household walls to mark the seasonal festivals and life cycle events like marriage and birth.

Mithila Painting’s iconography is drawn from a rich cosmology, as well as a huge store of legends and folklore replete with symbols of fertility, good luck, and prosperity. It is observed that communities in the area have distinct paintings styles. Originally all these forms were ephemeral and done during special rituals, directly on the house walls and floors. In the 60's, with the help of the Indian government, the womenfolk from this region started to express themselves on paper or on canvas. These new media helped them to promote their art in India and many other countries.

Today Madhubani Painting commands immense global respect and cultural significance due to many myths and folklore attached to it. The copious use of bright and vibrant natural colours for rustic depiction makes it both enigmatic and divine art form from ancient India.

The Rich Cultural Heritage of Mithila Art

Far away from Indian big cities and the modern world lies this beautiful region once known as Mithila. It was one of the first kingdoms to be established in eastern India. The region is a vast plain stretching north towards Nepal, south towards the Ganges and west towards Bengal. The women of Mithila from time immemorial have been involving themselves in the various forms of creativity. The best one can find in their creativity is the relationship between nature, culture and human psyche. Also they use only those raw materials, which are available easily in abundance in the locality they are surrounded with.

Through folk paintings and other forms, these womenfolk express their desire, dreams and expectations. It is a parallel literacy by which they communicate their aesthetic expression. Their art of creativity itself can be treated as a style of writing by which their emotions, expectations, freedom of thoughts etc are expressed. Their background, gender, aspirations, hope, aesthetic sensibility and cultural knowledge – all of these find expression in all possible forms of this world renowned art.


At March 1, 2012 at 7:04 PM , Blogger rajesh said...

you are very very good designer. i like your all painting.

all the best

At September 29, 2016 at 2:04 AM , Blogger Safal Trading said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At September 29, 2016 at 2:05 AM , Blogger Safal Trading said...

waooooo very nice printing. Because i belong from mithila and i like this


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