Heritage History behind Madhubani Painting
An ancient folk-art, the Madhubani Painting has mystical history behind its origin. It is said that when King Janaka asked an artist to capture the magnificent serene of his daughter Sita’s wedding to Prince Rama.
Another tale is that the King Janaka gave the task to the group of artists to decorate the wedding venue of his daughter Sita and Prince Rama with enigmatic paintings to leave the indelible impression of the rich culture of Mithila on guests. The quintessence folk art form of Mithila Region is old and the name ‘Madhubani’ means, ‘Forest of Honey’.
As we can see during recent times this style came into the limelight when some of the artisans renovated the walls railway station by painting huge walls. It is expected to attract high level of tourism in Bihar for the love of this beautiful painting.
In Bihar this exclusive local art form is the biggest exporter and generates income for the state. Also Madhubani Paintings have received National and International attraction of tourists and its value. Here paintings showcase the mirror image of the rich culture and incredible tradition of the place from where it has been originated. These paintings have become the important part of Indian culture.
Madhubani Paintings are originated from the region Mithila situated in Bihar, also known as Mithila Paintings. Madhubani Paintings were usually created by women on walls and floors of homes during festivals, ceremonies or on auspicious occasions. The deeply rooted Madhubani paintings depicts the iconography of its traditions and traditional values, artistic innovation and views focusing on modern and socio thematic outlook.
Madhubani Paintings are done in bright, vibrant colors which depict happiness, origin, birth, existence, beauty, peace and other elements of life as their theme. Like other incredible art forms these paintings also have the tales revolving around the origin of earth, existence of gods and supernatural beings like gandhayas, apsaras,life and some moral based stories. Additionally they have the themes on a common tantric foundation from Hinduism and Buddhism.
Types of Paintings
Initially, Madhubani art has five distinctive styles namely, Bharni, Katchni, Tantrik, Godna and Kobhar practiced by different castes. The upper caste depicted gods, where as the other depicted their daily lives. But nowadays Madhubani Art has become a globalized art.
The Bharni Style of painting is bold and filled with vibrant colors with exquisite rich line work around the art forms. The art figures which are commonly drawn in Bharni Paintings were Lord Vishnu, Goddess Kaali, Goddess Durga, Lord Shri Krishna and also other gods and goddesses. Bharni Paintings are famous as they brings back the life to the paintings by immensely portraying the detailing iconography and mythology of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Kayastha Katchni Style
In the Kayastha Katchni Style the use of two colors was one of the major feature. As in this style all the art forms which is drawn filled with different types of rendering instead of filling colors. This art form is generally done by the women, who were considered as ‘Upper Caste’. So few Brahmin women took the initiative to practice the art form as they later get attracted by the name & fame which they have receive in return by giving the light to this incredible art form as line paintings. Because the major difference is the way the whole paper is covered by different types of line work.
Tattoo Painting of Dusadh Community
The success story of Brahmin and Kayastha women artists was motivational and inspirational for the ‘Lower Caste’ women’s. Jamuna Devi, the pioneer behind Godhana Paintings or Tattoo Paintings who belonged to the Chammar community of Jitwarpur village was the first Dalit woman to enter the era of commercialized art of painting. Earlier Dusadh women used to form tattoos on their body because they were unaware of Kayastha Katchni Style done by upper caste women’s.
Marketing Campaign Launched by Tata Tea
Tata Tea pays tribute to the aesthetic rich art and culture of Bihar by showcasing the popular art form ‘Madhubani Art’ also known as Mithila Painting. Tata Tea brand has created a special edition packaging of the product displaying Chhath Puja theme by using Madhubani Art Form.
In the Chhath Puja special edition packaging there is an ornamented woman who is performing Arghya prayer as she offers water to the Sun God with beautifully decorated Soop, a traditional tray with Puja elements in it. The intricate details of festival evoke emotional response to the eyes of the viewer. A pictorial symphony of the festive pack with vibrant yellow color theme, symbols and images are inspired by Chhat Puja and appealing to festive look base gold pack that generates positivity.
Legendary Woman : An Inspiring Woman
Traditionally only women have been practicing this art form, as it has become their expression of the civilization around them. The inspiration for Madhubani art emerged out of women’s urge for religiousness and intense desire to be one with God. Their art work is an enigmatic narrative of relationship with nature, life, religion and society. The women’s of Mithila have contributed the most to keep alive the heritage art form in the region. However these women pass down the values and culture of the society. The artistic approach of mystical work is being given to their daughters to showcase the art and keep alive the uniqueness of beauty inside their houses and as well as on walls, mud and floors.
True Legend : Sita Devi
Sita Devi has been awarded with Padma Shri in the 1960s. At 95 of age she was a legendary artist. Sita Devi’s fame has evolved her identity to the village so as the development it needed. Still in Jitwarpur some of the artistic endeavors are waiting for someone to come and wave the magic band and change people’s lives. Nowadays Jitwarpur people have a high opinion of Sita Devi not only for the Padma Shri she won, but for the advancement she has brought to that Jitwarpur village. She has outshined the village with her own capabilities and developed a style all her own.
One of the true believer have his views like people of Jitwarpur are not in need to get a politician because whatever the work Sita Devi has done no politician ever will. Devi was very visionary towards the development of the people living in Jitwarpur village so she demanded to construct a higher secondary school and her demand was fulfilled. Nobody could say no to Ma. She was one of the phenomenal personalities who has visited ten countries to exhibit her art form of Madhubani Paintings out of village homes and showcased to the walls of worldwide. She was the inspiration for other natives living in the village to learn this artistic expression.
Once Sita Devi said she has learnt this art from her mother, they used to paint on the mud walls of their home on festivals and occasions. One day visitors saw this piece of art and appreciated so she started to paint it on paper.
How it is done?
Madhubani Paintings is traditional and ancient art form practiced in Mithila region of Bihar. This art form is drawn with multiple tools, matchsticks, fingers, twigs, brushes, or nib-pens. Madhubani Paintings is the expression of nature, some religious beliefs, green pantherism, gods and evil myths so it depicts the image of the sun painted with organic surajmukhi yellow color, green leaves with natural colors, the moon with the sandalwood or rice powder. Some plants and waterfalls are drawn as to evoke an emotional response with the mother earth.
The Central Theme
The Madhubani Painting is the expressive and basically the paintings are of religious motives in a way the artist approaches the world. The predominant theme of these painting covers the love and fertility. These paintings can be made to give interior room the Traditional Look. One appealing feature of this painting is that every artist has described the mythology and iconography version in its own dynamic way of expression. The wedding scenes are showcased by the artist and he will draw the figure and the painting reveals imagery and symbolic intent so deeply that the work reflects life back to us with simplicity and truth.
The art inspires the episode of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha so provocative manner that the birth, romance and life shared between two to the work is an enigmatic narrative art work. These paintings remain perfect for the home décor. As during these days we can find table linens, Napkins Rings, Lamps and Wall Hangings depicting the art of Madhubani. The transformative move from home walls and grounds to every object is innovative and acknowledgeable. This painting has intricately drawn by the artisans on the border of Silk sari and also people are fond of wearing with love and affection.
Also the transformation from paper to become the mode of generating income gained the worldwide recognition. As women were praised for doing this work. The economic success with the great chance to travel abroad and receive name and fame around the world was the major expansion which took place for the women empowerment because many NGO’s and Art galleries started coming up to preserve the heritage culture and pious art form to uplift new budding artists to rise high on their journey.