India | Bihar

Madhubani Paintings

Madhubani is the traditional style of wall-painting originating from the Madhubani District of Bihar. Traditionally, this style of painting is done by women, although occasionally men are involved. The paintings are done on freshly plastered or mud walls. The paintings are also available on paper or cloth.

Madhubani paintings are of religious significance. These paintings are mostly done on the walls of rooms used for important ceremonies. The women offer prayers before starting the work. The paintings include figures from nature and Hindu mythology. The themes also include court scenes, weddings and other social events. The vacant spaces in the painting are filled with floral, animal and bird motifs and geometrical designs.

The brush used for Madhubani paintings is made of cotton wrapped around a bamboo stick. The colours are prepared by the artists themselves using indigenous and natural materials. The colours are applied evenly with no shading. There is normally a double line for the outlines, with the gap between the lines filled by tiny strokes, straight or across. In the linear painting, only the outlines are sketched, with no colours applied.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Madhubani


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