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Madhubani

23:23 Designs supports Madhubani Artisans from Mithila.

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Mithila painting (or Madhubani painting as it is now beginning to be called) is a style of Indian painting practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. These paintings were done traditionally by the women on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. These use two-dimensional imagery and the colors used are derived from plants. There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, holi, surya shasti, kali puja, durga puja and the sacred thread ceremony. There are three styles of Madhubani painting - Kachni (only line work, usually monochrome), Bharni (the subjects are filled with solid color) and Godhana (the figures appear in concentric circles on parallel lines).

Often characterized by complex geometrical patterns, these paintings are known for representing ritual content for particular occasions, including festivals, religious rituals, etc. The colors used in Madhubani paintings are usually derived from plants and other natural sources. These colors are often bright and pigments like lampblack and ochre are used to create black and brown respectively. Instead of contemporary brushes, objects like twigs, matchsticks and even fingers are used to create the paintings.

Over time, Madhubani paintings became a part of festivities and special events like wed-dings. Slowly, this art attracted connoisseurs of art as many contemporary Indian artists took the art on global stage. The traditional base of plastered mud wall was soon replaced by handmade paper, cloth and canvas. Since the paintings have been confined to a limited geographical range, the themes as well as the style are more or less, the same.

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