Madhubani paintaing comes from the Indian village of madhubani and mithila in bihar.
These paintings are done on various mediums such as cloths ,handmade paper and
canvas. Madhubani paintings mostly depict nature and Hindu religious motifs, and the
themes generally revolve around Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga,
Lakshmi, and Sarasvati. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants
like tulsi (sacred basil) are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court
and social events like weddings.
The origins of Madhubani painting is 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 Ram. Tulsidas gives a beautiful account of a Mithila painting which was made for
the legendary marriage of Sita with Ram.
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.
Madhubani Art gained recognition in India in the late 1960's after a drought in the
region brought a severe economic crisis and forced the local women to transform their
art on to paper and sell it.
Process, Talent & Skills Needed
The painters use a handmade brush for Mithila or Madhubani art, which made of a
bamboo stick, with its end slightly frayed.
In another class known as the Harijan style, hand-made paper is washed in cowdung.
Once the paints are ready, two different kinds of brushes are used - one for small
details which is made out of bamboo twigs and the other for filling in the space which is
made from a small piece of cloth attached to a twig.
Materials used, durability
Traditionally, natural colours were obtained from plant extracts like henna leaves,
flower, bougainvillea, neem, etc. Then, to make the paint stick to the painting medium,
these natural juices are mixed with banana leaves resin and ordinary gum.
In recent times, synthetic colours, which come in powdered form, are easily available in
the market. However, artists still use colours derived from natural sources.
The most popular natural colors in Madhubani art include deep red which is derived
from Kusuma flower, black from burnt jowar, green from Bel trees, orange from Palasa
flower and light yellow from turmeric mixed with banyan leaf milk.
Vegetable colors are used making use of natural resources. For example:•Black – By blending soot and cow dung
•Yellow - From turmeric, pollen, lime, milk of banyan leaves,
•Red - Kusam flower juice or red sandalwood
•Green - wood apple tree leaves
•White - Rice powder
•Orange - Palasha flowers
Brahmin style :The Brahmins are the upper most caste in the Hindu culture and the
paintings created by them were allowed liberal use of vibrant colors and their paintings
were inspired by the sacred texts with stories of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses
like Ram, Seetha, Krishna, Durga and Shiva.
The Dusadhs are the low caste group and they were not allowed to represent divinities
but they could use bright colors. Hence their themes included the flora and fauna, and
of Lord Salhesh – a Dusadh cultural hero. This style is known as Tattoo or Godhana
Kshatriya Style - The Kshatriyas are a little below the Brahmins in the caste hierarchy
and were allowed the use of only black and red colors. The subjects of the paintings
were similar as the Brahmin style.
Average cost:The price of the painting depends upon the design and the fabric on which the painting
is done. while mahubani painting on a cotton kurta costs around Rs. 700 to 900. Silk
kurtas costs around Rs. 1800 to 2000. while silk sarees costs around Rs. 1200 to
In the past two or three years, sale in madhubani has increased by 5%. Business men
makes a sell of up to Rs. 2,50,000 to 3,00,000 every month.
painting have become the preferred item among the art lovers and
common masses in the world. The demand has also picked up because more and
more youths are showing inetrest in the art form. Various government agencies and
non profit organizations are actively involved increating a good market for the artistes
for whom this art is the source of income. It is well in demand in the season of
marriage, festival and religious events.
It is widely used as decorative interiors
The commercialization has caused serious harms to this art. The women and men are
learning this art from the market in the cities and metropolitian cities. The trainers
themselves do not know the essence and asthetics beauty of this folk art and they
teach their students in the utter ignorance. Some of them do not know the colour
combination, obtaining the colour from the nature, preparing the background,
relationship between rythm, colours, dance, rituals and the art of painting
The modern World with Madhubani art
Though bihar madhubani painting is said to have originated since the time of the
Ramayana, it has taken a 360 degree change in the modern world. No more mud wall
required for using this traditional art form of India.
This design is now used on all kind of objects as home decor in modern times.
Traditional Indian Wall Hangings Adding Colors to Home
Thus ,it can be concluded that folk culture of madhubani as especially painting has rich
heritage. It has achieved eminence in the art international market. To conclude one
must consider or agree that in absence of folk painting there is no identity of culture in
humans life as well as occasion will be complete. If any body wants to know the nation
at first he has to know the roots.