Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of art in the Mithila region of Nepal and Bihar in India.Madhubani paintings are made using natural colors and pigments using fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens and matchsticks and are characterized by attractive geographical patterns. Madhubani paintings are usually about occasions and festivals like birth, marriage, Holi, Surya Shastri, Kali Puja, Upanayanam, Durga Puja and other important days of Hindu calendar and culture.Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled with paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs. Traditionally, the paintings were done from generation to generation by mainly women in the families of Mithila region. The Mithila region, from which the name Mithila art is derived, is believed to have been the kingdom of King Janaka, the names of the Ramayana may be familiar to readers. Its exact location is located in present-day Janakpur, Nepal.
Since Mithilanchal has been influenced by Tantric ideas since ancient times, this painting has a clear glimpse of the Tantrism prevalent in Mithila. Some special images are used in painting Kali, Durga, Lakshmi etc. In the drawing of the Rasamandal, the octagonal, the octagon, the quadrangle, etc. are used, and this is where the main symbols of tantra cultivation are enumerated in the Siddhakas.In Tantric painting, colors derived from Gauranchan, Kumkum, Saffron and Kasturi etc. are also used. But now the walls of Mithila painting centered on caste and communities are collapsing. She is beginning to break free from the prescribed and repeated tradition.
There are some special features of Mithila painting. There is no model for this. Its artists begin drawing on a wall, or paper, with straight colors without any drawing. The subject, shape, and emotion of the pictures are so deeply ingrained in their mind that the picture itself becomes clear.They have a paintbrush made of bamboo or cloth wrapped in the name of the material for engraving the picture. Painting on paper is done with a holder or a nib. Large eyes, pointed nose, thin waist, etc. are all mentioned in this painting.
Bright colors are used a lot. Like dark red, green, blue and black. Some light colors are also enhanced in the picture, such as yellow, pink and lemon colors. It would be surprising to know that these colors are made from domestic things, such as turmeric, banana leaves, peel bark are used for red. Apart from murals, Alpana is also popular in Bihar. It is made outside the meeting or door.
Natural colors have a prominent place in Mithila painting. The colors used for painting are mostly derived from flora and fauna. Yellow color is prepared by mixing banana and banyan milk in lime. Yellow color is also extracted from Torai (Brassica compasts) and Marigold (Tagetis) flowers and turmeric. The flowers of the wanderer (Argymonmexicana) are also used for coloring in it.The green color is prepared from the leaves of bean (Dolicuslavalab) and vine (Egilmarmelos), saffron and orange color are prepared from saffron and pallas flowers. Dried pomegranate peels form golden, berries from the sky, and beetroot or ocher turns red. Apart from this, blue color is obtained from neem, dark brown color from boiled tea and purple color is obtained from Aparajita flowers. The colors obtained from these are mixed with goat milk or acacia gum and the durability of the colors is increased.
There are some special centers of painting in Mithilanchal. Such as Jitwarpur, Bhawanipur, Ranti, Rasidpur, Rajnagar, Harinagar, Lahariaganj, Shayam, Simri etc. Ever since this painting has turned to commercialism, hundreds of Mithilanchal artists, who are struggling with livelihood, have been living outside of Mithilanchal in cities like Patna, Delhi, Madras, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Calcutta and Bangalore and are living their lives with the help of this art. Sita Devi, Jagadamba Devi, Bauwa Devi, Mahasundari Devi, Ganga Deviand Godavari Dutta have been awarded with Padmashri in this painting.
Hundreds of artists of this painting have exhibited their art in countries like Japan, Italy, Nepal, Mauritius, Germany, France, and America. However, Mithila painting has shocked the whole world with its originality and eccentricity. Artists of Mithilanchal, especially women, have taken the work of Mithila painting to the status that they have become a unique identity in the international market.Sarees, salwar, dupraduta, canvas, greeting cards, purses, table lamps and decorative items have been painted with Mithila paintings. Women from big cities are also proudly wearing costumes painted with Mithila painting. From five-star hotels, offices to art-lovers’ drawing rooms, the presence of Mithila painting is becoming necessary.