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  • 10 Amazing Facts about Madhubani Paintings

    Mithila, more commonly known as Madhubani painting is a style of art that was developed by the women of several communities in the Mithila regions of Nepal and India. Its first known appearance was in Bihar, a village in Mithila. It was and still is popular throughout the region. Though it was initially a style of wall art, artisans have transferred it to canvas and paper in recent times. The instances of this art form that are produced on paper and canvas are more popularly known as Madhubani art.

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    Interesting facts –

    Madhubani art is highly resourceful. Paint is made from the paste of ground rice. Artists use their fingers, matchsticks, pen nibs and twigs to apply colours onto the canvas.

    It’s environmentally friendly. Only natural dyes are used for the paints. Among other materials, Madhubani artists will typically use soot, charcoal or lamp black for black, indigo for blue, sandalwood for red and turmeric extracts for yellow.

    Madhubani art has five individual styles, namely - Kachni, Kohbar, Bharni, Godna and Tantrik. The Tantrik and Kachni styles were originally practised by the upper caste women of Kayashth and Brahman. However, modern Madhubani art has transcended these boundaries and there is hardly any distinction by caste on this art form.

    Madhubani art is a geographically unique form of art. These paintings were unknown to the world until a British officer, William G archer discovered them in 1934.

    Madhubani saves nature. In 2012, Madhubani artists decorated over 100 trees to protect a forest from encroachment. The strategy worked! The spiritual and religious symbols painted onto the trees instilled a sense of respect and reverence for nature and spirituality into the locals.

    Madhubani art today draws a strong following from art enthusiasts all over the world. Madhubani patterns have now been incorporated into mugs, mouse pads, cushion covers and bags.

    Madhubani art is really old. It’s a 2500-year-old folk art that dates back to the era of Ramayana when the king asked an artist to make a portrait of his daughter’s betrothal to Prince Rama.

    Madhubani paintings are created instinctively by artists. There is no sketching at all. This quality makes each feature unique.

    This art has exclusive galleries. There are art galleries dedicated entirely to Madhubani art all over the world. Besides Mithilasmita in Bengaluru, there is a Mithila museum in Japan that displays over 850 Madhubani art pieces.

    Madhubani artwork is made in accordance with a set theme. Artists use lines, pattern and symbolism to depict and emphasise cultural values such as religion.

  • Famous Ancient Indian Traditional Art and Paintings

    India is a land of cultural diversity but we can always witness that all these differences only makes it more interesting. Ancient Indian folk art is a tradition in India and it has been practiced through various generations in many parts of the country. With time, art forms tend to adapted modern resources but there are still few unpretentious forms who have survived the test of time. Most of the Indian folk art forms illustrate religious stories about God and Goddesses, and yet they are different from each other. Traditionally natural colours, earth, charcoal and natural resources were used by artists to maintain the natural integrity of the art. Ancient antique paintings are portrayed on the cloth or canvas.  Below is the list of ancient Indian art forms appreciating their uniqueness and magnificence –

    Madhubani Art

    Madhubani art originated in Mithila region of Bihar in India, hence this art is also known as Mithila art. Madhubani art is found in the mural and geometric patterns describing religious folk stories, God, Goddesses, Indian flora, and fauna. In ancient times, this art was used by women to decorate their home walls. Madhubani can be painted using fingers, sticks, brushes, pointed pens and natural colors and dyes. This art is mostly used as a part of the ritual during Indian festivals and happy occasions like birth or marriage, Holi, Kali Puja, Durga Puja.

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    Gond

    The Gond art form is said to evolve from Madhya Pradesh region in India. It is called Gond based on the name of ‘The Gondi tribe’ who is known as the inventor of Gond art. This type of art also focuses on the mysteries of nature, plants, animals. This is a very lively art form characterized by its upbeat colour schemes and vibrant looks. Natural colours are prepared from soil, charcoal and cow dung and are used to create this art form.

    Miniature Paintings

    Indian Miniatures paintings date back to 17th century and evolved in Western Himalayas. The art items are painted in small size with elaborate expressions and are inspired by Persian art style during Mughal era. The artists used to describe history and war. The main characteristics of a miniature painting are the enlarged eyes, sharp nose, and thin waist with men in turbans.

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    Phat Art

    Phat art is a traditional art of Rajasthan with paintings of folk deities of Pabujai and Devnarayan. The painting describes the incidents related to lives of these deities. It is painted on canvas and the paintings are generally large in size. Painters use natural colours and dye to create this magnificent art form.

    Kalamkari

    Kalamkari art is a Hindi translation for ‘creating art with pen’. A kalamkari is an ancient form of hand painting painted on cotton or silk cloth using natural colours and a special type of tamarind pen. This art is popular in Andhra Pradesh in machilipatnam and Srikalahasti. Machilipatnam artists create block paintings and Srikalahasti artists create designs on fabrics using pens. Natural resources are used for preparing colours such as fruits, vegetables, leaves and so on. Most common objects of Kalamkari art are flowers, birds, peacocks and Hindu mythological stories. In this day and age, this art has excelled as a popular art to create Kalamkari sarees.

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    Tanjore Painting

    Tanjore paintings are a famous art form of South Indian culture and are native to Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu.  These paintings depict the stories related to God, Goddesses and holy saints of Hindu religion. Vibrant colours, precious stones, and ornaments are used to create these paintings. This art form is the blend of Maratha, Deccan and European panache and it originated in India somewhere in the 16th century.

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    Cheriyal Scrolls

    Cheriyal Scrolls painting is an ancient art form similar to Nakashi art. In current times, this art is only created in Telangana and Hyderabad states in India. These cheriyal scrolls paintings use local motifs and stories from Indian mythology. These scrolls are more than fifty feet long and painted in panels to narrate the stories from Puranas and Indian epics. Primary colours are used to create the scrolls.

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    Bhil

    Bhil is a folk art created by one of the main tribes in India known as ‘Bhils’. They live in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra region in India. Bhils are known as successors of Eklavya, the great archer from Mahabharata. Bhil paintings are mostly about nature and tribal lifestyle and are painted using bright natural colours.

    Kalighat Paintings

    Kalighat paintings are used by artists to raise their voice against social conditions and cause awareness. The art form is known to exist since the 19th century and was originated at Kalighat in West Bengal state in India. Initially, this art was focused to tell religious stories but in modern times it is used for social reforms.

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    Warli

    Warli is another tribal art form from the Gujarat and Maharashtra regions. The Warli tribe used to paint the walls to decorate their homes. This painting uses geometric patterns to describe life in a modest way. The art is created on gerue (red soil) base with bamboo sticks. Rice paste is used to paint the various life events like festivals, dancing, etc.

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    Saura

    Saura is a traditional tribal painting used by Saura tribe living in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These paintings describe the never-ending connection between nature and mankind. Saura paintings use natural colours made from neem leaves, herbs, and flowers. Saura art also uses geometric patterns like Warli however it is much bigger and extended form of painting.

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