is drawing the preliminary sketch of the image
adhesive and its application on the base. The next step, that is the third,
consists of making the drawing and ornamenting it with cut glass, pearls and
even semi-precious stones. Laces or threads are used to decorate the painting.
To further increase the effect, wafer thin sheets of gold are pasted in relief on
some parts of the painting, while the other parts are painted in bright colours.
Madhubani painting originated in a small village, known as Maithili, of the
Bihar state of India. Historically, the womenfolk of the village started this
painting by drawing these paintings on the walls of their home, as an
illustration of their thoughts, hopes and dreams. As time progressed, the
paintings found their place in becoming a part of festivities and special
events, like marriage. Slowly and gradually, the Madhubani paintings of
India crossed the traditional and regional boundaries and started reaching
connoisseurs of art, both at the national and the international level.
Features The traditional base of freshly plastered mud wall of huts where
this type of paintings was made initially, has now been replaced by cloth,
handmade paper and canvas. Since the paintings have not found wide fusion
and been restricted to a limited geographical range, the themes as well as the
style are, more or less, the same. The specialty of Indian Maithili paintings is
their use of three-dimensional images and the colours derived mainly from
plants. The nature and mythological events are mainly the themes on which
these paintings are based. King Janaka ordered that the paintings would be
created for his daughter Sita"s wedding, and this is perhaps the first reference
to the Maithili painting of Bihar that dates back to the time of Ramayana.
Themes Themes of the Maithili painting of Bihar revolve around Hindu
deities like Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga and Saraswati; natural
themes include the Sun, the Moon and the religious plants like tulsi. Paintings
based on scenes from the royal courts and social events, like weddings, are
also found. If any empty space is left after painting the main theme, it is filled
up with the motifs of flowers, animals and birds or geometric designs.
Making techniques Painters make the brush for Madhubani paintings of
Bihar by wrapping a piece of cotton around a bamboo stick. The artists
prepare the colours that are used for the paintings. Various colours and their