Madhubani art is one of the finest art form in India’s rich artistic culture. This art pattern has its roots in the Mithila region and surrounding villages in Madhubani district of Bihar. It is practiced in the region since ages and has gained attention of artists, art lovers and historians across the world. It is believed that Madhubani art originated since the times of Ramayana. In the scriptures King Janak had called artists to record the paintings of the marriage of his daughter Sita gave rise to this style of painting.
Themes of the Maithili painting of Bihar revolve around Hindu deities like Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga and Saraswati. The natural themes that are used include the Sun, the Moon and the religious plants like tulsi. One can also find paintings based on scenes from the royal courts and social events, like weddings. If any empty space is left after painting the main theme, it is filled up with the motifs of flowers, animals and birds or geometric designs.
Making Madhubani Paintings
The brush used for Madhubani paintings of Bihar was made of cotton, wrapped around a bamboo stick. The artists prepare the colors that are used for the paintings. Black color is made by adding soot to cow dung; yellow from combining turmeric (or pollen or lime) with the milk of banyan leaves; blue from indigo; red from the kusam flower juice or red sandalwood; green from the leaves of the wood apple tree; white from rice powder and orange from palasha flowers. There is no shading in the application of colors. A double line is drawn for outlines and the gap is filled with either cross or straight tiny lines. The linear Maithili paintings do not even require application of colors; only the outlines are drawn.