Have you ever heard about Madhubani traditional paintings or it is the very first time you’re hearing about this form of art? You might be wondering what genre of art it might be. What type of name it is and where it originated?

Well, Madhubani is a genre of traditional Indian art that is still in practice in certain parts of Bihar, specifically in Mithila region. Since this genre of painting came into being in Mithila region, it is also widely known as Mithila paintings.

Here are the some of the intriguing facts about Madhubani paintings that you after knowing will feel amazed:

1. As per the historians, when Lord Rama and Sita tied a nuptial knot, the Madhubani style of paintings came into being. Basically, the origin of this panache of painting is linked to the well-known ‘Sita Kalyan’. It’s said that Seeradhwaja Janaka, the king of Mithila, requested people of his kingdom to decorate the walls of the town by capturing each and every ritual of the wedding ceremonies and make his daughter’s nuptial a memorable and epic moment.

This antediluvian custom of intricate wall paintings, also widely known as Bhitti-Chitra in Nepal and Bihar, played a major role in the advent of this new art genre. The original stimulus behind creation of Madhubani art arose from women’s longing for devoutness and a deep desire to be one with God. They believed that paintings are the best medium to convey their message to God.

Originally these paintings illustrated an immaculate congregation of emblematic metaphors of the lotus plant, the bamboo orchard, fishes, birds and snakes in fusion. These metaphors basically symbolized fertility and propagation of life.

2. Believe it or not, Madhubani traditional Indian art help in preventing cutting of trees. Feeling surprised? I too felt the same way when found this very fact.

Talented painters who hail from Bihar are nowadays using Madhubani paintings as a way to thwart increasing rate of deforestation. But, you must be pondering how can a painting avert people from cutting down trees?

Well, the artists from this region are drawing Madhubani paintings on these trees and since the paintings predominantly portray Hindu god and goddess people don’t cut them. Simply put, here in India people are more spiritually inclined so they restrain from cutting down trees with these traditional Indian art.            

The BBC newspaper had covered an article long back in the year 2012 discussing about how artists in Bihar are proactively spreading an effective message of saving trees by bedecking tree trunks with colourful Madhubani paintings. The subjects of this age old form of art are typically Hindu gods and goddesses like Krishna, Radha, Durga and Saraswati. The artists hope that these drawings would dissuade god-fearing Indians from cutting the trees and protect the environment.

3. Medium of paintings changed with passage of time

It is the native women of rural areas in Bihar who create this unique form of traditional Indian art. With the passage of time, changing trends in society and growing advancement in technology, things have transformed for better and now this style is widely appreciated not only among Indian populace, but also among the people who are staying abroad.

During the ancient times, this genre of painting used to be created mainly on mud walls of houses that were recently plastered over. At present, you will no longer find Madhubani paintings on mud walls, now these are created on canvases, cushions, paper or even cloths. Besides, artisans are even creating Madhubani artwork on utensils and even bangles.

4. Imagery of divinities isn’t just the theme that you can see in Madhubani traditional paintings           

According to Hindu folklores, divinities have always been the main theme in the Madhubani paintings and till date it’s been the same. These paintings are customarily about tales of Hindu divinities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Lakshmi, and Durga etc. Sometimes, ceremonial events like marriages have also been created on the canvas by the artists. The space on the surface is never left blank and is covered with creation of some simple metaphors like of blossoms or geometric patterns.

5. Presence of different art galleries online

Another intriguing fact about this traditional form of art is that there are myriad of élite art galleries across the globe. In the present day, many élite art galleries that exhibit Madhubani paintings can be found in India and even in a foreign country.

With the emergence of e-commerce websites and evolution of Internet, now it has become quite simple for art lovers and artists to connect with each other on a common platform, and sell and buy paintings of different types. Gone is the time when people have to wait for art exhibitions and auctions if they wanted to buy artwork. Now paintings are just a click away.

Wrapping up-

Madhubani paintings are one such form of traditional art about which many of us must not be aware about. Hope above mentioned facts enlightened you with information about this unique genre of art.

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