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INDIAN PAINTING

 

MADHUBANI PAINTINGS 

 

Madhubani PaintingThe Madhubani Paintings are folk paintings of Mithila, a market town in the northern part of Bihar. This art, with a tradition going back to centuries, is today an exclusive monopoly of women artistes. Done in primary colours of natural origin on paper and cloth, they narrate mythological and religious events. This painting is one of the traditional skills that are passed down from generation to generation in the families of some women.

 Earlier, Madhubani paintings chiefly depicted mythological personages, deities and flora and fauna of a region.  However, now they incorporate tantric symbolism in the basic design. Other figures used in these paintings are those of Shiva and Parvati, Radha and Krishna and almost all the deities of the Hindu pantheon and the rural local religions. These figures are placed centrally and their consorts, mounts and floral motifs are placed in the background.

 According to earlier accounts, the paintings were actually executed by Brahmin and Kayastha women, who, Madhubani Painting by reason of their caste constituted a socially respected minority in the villages of Bihar. However, this folk art form gained international recognition only in the recent times. Among the first modern outsiders to document the tradition of Madhubani painting were William and Mildred Archer. He was a British civil servant assigned to the district during the colonial era. As a result of sustained encouragement from Government, painting has become a primary source of income for scores of families from Mithila. The women of Mithila have now successfully transferred their techniques of bhitti chitra or wall painting to the medium of paper. They have come to be regarded as representative of the Indian folk art and are eagerly sought after by art lovers.

 



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