Madhubani Painting – Vibrant Folk Art of Mithila

Kobhar by senior artist of Bihar Lalita Devi (Simri, Madhubani).
Kobhar by senior artist of Bihar Lalita Devi (Simri, Madhubani).
This article traces the historical journey of Mithila painting, that of the painting of walls, floor-spaces on the medium of paper in North Bihar.


This article traces the historical journey of a unique art-form, that of the painting of walls, floor-spaces and on the medium of paper, of Madhubani painting, referring to the place from where it became famous from the region of Mithila in North Bihar. The land of its origin being India, the social and cultural context is also explored. The article aims to document the main artists in the field, who have given their lives in preserving this form of painting and been applauded by the Government of India for their efforts. The painting style has ancient origins and it has caught the eye of both Indians and foreign art enthusiasts. The different sources from which the colours are derived for use have also been noted. Now the art-form finds expression in walls of public places like railway stations, in addition to traditional spaces and during social events. There have been National Award winning artists and the art has made long journeys. The art has combined both the traditional and contemporary themes and been transferred to apparel, upholstery, tableware and sold as artwork for modern homes and interiors. Novel themes have found a place in the art to give it a new appeal. The artists who have made a contribution in revival and sustenance of the art have been listed, with their short biographies in the article, along with interesting illustrations of this vibrant, colourful and timeless art-form.

Full Version of The paper

About The Author:
Soma Ghosh
Librarian and Media Officer, Salar Jung Museum, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Hyderabad, India.

First published: 20 April 2020
Courtesy: Soma Ghosh


Ghosh, S. (2020). Madhubani Painting—Vibrant Folk Art of Mithila. Art and Design Review, 8, 61-78.

© Copyright © 2020 by author(s) and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Other links:

भोजपुरी अंचल (पूर्वांचल) के कोहबर चित्र का वैशिष्टय
Documenting the Image in Mithila Art
Maithil Paintings: An Enquiry into Its Historiographical Trajectory (1947 -1997)
Madhubani Painting: A Historical Context
मिथिला चित्रकला का ‘लोक’ और उसकी प्रवृत्तियां


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Tags: Art historyFolk paintingHistory of Indian ArtMadhubani artMadhubani paintingMithila artMithila paintingresearch and referencesResearch papersSoma Ghosh

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