Kalarte Gallery: India

Madhubani Paintings

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images copyright 2000-2011 Kalarte Gallery and Bernard Cesarone

Information about Madhubani paintings

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Dimensions are approximate

Madhubani painting

Water-based paint on paper
Madhubani, Bihar
ca. 22" x 15" (unframed)
ca. 2000

# MADH-08d

Krishna and Radha

Madhubani Paintings

Beginning in the 1960s, a style of painting that had been used to decorate the walls of houses was transferred to paper or canvas in the Madhubani district of the state of Bihar, in northeast India. These paintings have come to be called Madhubani paintings (or sometimes Mithila paintings, after the name of the region). The paintings are typically done by village women, a few of whom have become relatively famous for their work.

The paintings are usually brightly colored, but monochrome pictures are done as well. The most common themes of Madhubani paintings are iconic images of Hindu gods and goddesses and stories from Hindu mythology. Other themes are ritual diagrams and village scenes.

For more information

Jain, Jyotindra. (1997). Ganga Devi: Tradition and Expression in Mithila Painting. Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd.; in association with Niigata, Japan: Mithila Museum.

Thakur, Upendra. (n.d, probably mid-1980s). Madhubani Painting. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications.

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