Indian artwork is some of the finest and most beautiful pieces in the world, with each piece vividly depicting an aspect of the culture. Madhubani Paintings or Mithila painting is a particular style of Hindu painting that’s regularly practiced and created in the Mithila region of Nepal and Indian States of Bihar. This Mithilia region is believed by many Hindus to have once been the Kingdom of King Janak. Many of the pieces depict humans and their association with nature, as well as scenes and deities from ancient epics in Hindu culture.
What makes these paintings so special is that they’re done using an artist’s fingers, twigs, brushes, matchsticks and nib-pens. Artists also use natural dyes and pigments with this style of art, but what make Madhubani Paintings really special is their eye-catching geometrical patterns that captivate all who see them. Madhubani Paintings can depict special occasions in the Indian culture, such as births, marriages and other Hindu festive holidays.
The exact time period when Madhubani Paintings and art first originated is still unknown, but according to local myth, it can be traced back to the time of Ramayana, when then King Janaka of Nepal ordered his kingdom to decorate the region for his daughter, Sita’s, wedding to Lord Rama.
There are five distinctive styles of Madhubani Paintings – Nepali, Tantrik, Gobar, Bharni and Katchni. The themes to each of the paintings depended on a person’s caste, with the Bharni Kachni and Tantrik style done by upper caste women in Nepal and India.
Many of Madhubani Paintings artists are unknown, with the traditional art form passed down from one generation of women to another. Many painters don’t even consider themselves as artists despite the beautiful pieces that they create. The art form received official recognition back in 1975, when then President of India gave the regions Padma Shri award to a local artist – Jagdamba Devi. Today, it’s a globalized art form with many art houses keeping the centuries old art form alive and thriving.