Saturday, 17 December 2016

Folk Art - Madhubani

Folk art is a fascinating subject: how people of different cultures see themselves and their world in different ways - and yet with a good deal of similarity.
The folk art of Madhubani in North Bihar has been practised for generations by the womenfolk in painting the walls of their humble dwellings at times of seasonal festivities. But it is only in the last fifty or sixty years that Madhubani art has broken out of its regional limits and has come to be accepted all over India and the world as a most interesting art form.
Even today, it is the women  who mostly do the paintings - now done on handmade paper for easy access by all - poring over their work for days, first with the rough outline and then filling in all the imagined images of gods and goddesses that populate their belief systems.

Vibrant primary colours of blue, red, yellow mark out the Madhubani paintings as do the detailed ornamentation of their favourite, Lord Krishna, in his many moods,  at times playing his flute, at times herding cows, with Radha, his consort, waiting in a bower of flowering plants or on a swing. In the midst of the stylization, there are different visualizations, different moods, that makes Madhubani paintings so interesting.


  1. Gorgeous paintings and a lovely photograph! Thank you for the fascinating post. I wonder if I there is a way for me to buy a sample of a painting on paper somehow - to be shipped to the U.S...

  2. Glad you like it. Madhubani paintings are often available at exhibitions or Mela (local fairs)such as Surajkund near Delhi at end of January and at Pous Mela in December.Shipping may be a problem as the paintings are usually 24 inch by 36 inch on hand-made paper and should not be folded.