Madhubani paintings are also known as Mithila paintings based on their origin, Madhubani village of ancient Mithila (a region of Bihar and Nepal). This is an ancient art form believed to have originated at the time of King Janak, who asked the craftsmen and artists to decorate the entire city on the occasion of marriage of his daughter, Sita and Lord Rama. Madhubani painting was originally done on mud walls and floors of huts.
Madhubani art is one of the finest art forms in India. Madhubani painting was practiced in the state of Bihar in India and also Mithila region of Nepal. In Bihar, it flourished in the Madhubani district. Madhubani paintings history shows that it originated since the times of Ramayana. Local mythology says that King Janaka called artists to make paintings of the wedding ceremony of his daughter Sita. This style of painting gave rise to Madhubani paintings.
These paintings were traditionally done by the women of the village. During special occasions like festivals, weddings and religious occasions, they used to paint the walls of their huts. The art of madhubani paintings included beautiful paintings of mythological events like the marriage of Ram and Sits, birth of Krishna, departure of Ram to the forest and so on. Figures of deities, humans, various elements in nature, Gods and animals were also depicted in these paintings. Some of these paintings show geometrical shapes as well.
An important feature of these painting is that there is no blank space in the design. Once the main figure is drawn, the remaining space is covered with geometrical designs like triangles, squares, lines and so on.
Madubani art Bihar is done using brush made of cotton. This cotton is wrapped on a bamboo stick. The color used for the paintings is made by the artists, using natural ingredients, like soot and cow dung for black color, turmeric mixed with the milk of banyan leaves for yellow color. indigo for blue color, kusam flower juice or red sandalwood for red color, the leaves of wood apple tree for green color and so on. Rice powder is used for white color and palasha flowers are used to get orange color. A double line is drawn for outline and then the gap is filled with cross or tiny straight lines.
Nowadays, the mud walls are replaced by clothes, canvas and handmade papers for making the painting.