World of Mithila Painting: A Journey through Bihar's Artistry - by Saurav - CollectLo

World of Mithila Painting: A Journey through Bihar's Artistry

Saurav - CollectLo


Content Writer

2 min read . Oct 13 2023


Madhubani painting is a famous folk painting of Bihar, India. It's also known as Mithila or Maithili painting. The history of Madhubani painting goes back to the time of Ramayana. Madhubani paintings are practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar, which is the Maithili-speaking region in the northern part of the state. They're mainly done in Madhubani town, Jitwarpur village, and Ranti village in the Madhubani district of Bihar. They're also done in the Darbhanga district of Bihar. Madhubani paintings are painted during weddings and festivals as they're regarded as auspicious. They mostly depict religious subjects like marriages of gods and goddesses.

Revealing the Splendors of Mithila Painting

 1. Themes and Subjects: A Kaleidoscope of Narratives

Mithila paintings vividly portray an array of themes, encompassing religious chronicles, natural landscapes, daily life, and mythological sagas. These themes are deeply rooted in the rich cultural and social traditions of the Mithila region, lovingly passed down through generations.

2. Techniques: A Dance with Nature

The art of Mithila painting adheres to age-old techniques, utilizing natural pigments and brushes ingeniously crafted from twigs, matchsticks, or even fingers. The pigments themselves are sourced from nature's bounty, including flowers, leaves, and charcoal. Artists employ bold, intricate lines and patterns to weave their masterpieces, making each piece a visual spectacle.

3. Styles: Bharni and Kachni - The Harmony of Mithila Art

Mithila's painting encompasses a multitude of styles, with two primary ones taking the spotlight: Bharni and Kachni. Bharni is recognized for its intricate and multifaceted designs, while Kachni showcases a simpler yet equally enchanting finesse in the form of delicate lines and patterns.

4. Symbolism: Where Every Stroke Narrates a Tale

Mithila painting is a treasure trove of symbols and motifs, each carrying profound cultural significance. Fish symbolize fertility, peacocks signify love, and lotus blossoms represent purity. These symbols infuse depth and meaning into the art, preserving the rich cultural heritage of the region.

5. Adaptation: Beyond Walls to Broader Horizons

Historically, Mithila paintings adorned the walls of homes in the Mithila region, breathing life into living spaces. However, in recent years, artists have ventured into new mediums, including paper, fabric, and canvas, expanding the horizons of this beloved art form.

6. Women Empowerment: A Canvas for Self-Expression

Mithila painting has become synonymous with women artists, serving as both a creative outlet and a means of livelihood for countless talented women in the Mithila region. Many of them have risen to prominence as celebrated Mithila artists, breaking barriers and defying stereotypes.

Artists who have won awards for Mithila painting

  • Dulari Devi: Awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Mithila painting.
  • Godawari Dutta: Awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to preserving traditional Indian art.
  • Jagdamba Devi: Awarded the Padma Shri in 1975, and was the first artist from Mithila to receive a National Award.
  • Sita Devi: Awarded the National Award.
  • Satya Narayan Lal Karn and Moti Karn: Awarded the National Award in 2003.
  • Subhadra Devi: Awarded the Padma Shri in 2023.

A Voyage Through Time

The roots of Mithila's painting delve deep into antiquity, intertwined with the cultural and religious tapestry of the region. Over the centuries, it has evolved, morphing into a significant facet of Indian folk art. Today, Mithila painting stands not only as a source of immense pride for the people of Bihar but also as a revered art form, embraced and celebrated on the global stage. English