The Revival Of The Vintage: Madhubani Arts

We all want our homes to look modern and chic yet have an element of our rich cultural heritage! Don’t we? From vintage doors to the intricately carved wooden beds to mural wall hangings, our idea of home décor centres around all things classic! Although India is home to diverse art forms, we are not aware of some of the most beautiful art forms that have made a mark at both national and international levels. Madhubani Art, originated in Maithili, in the state of Bihar is one such art form. This beauty tells us a tale, a tale that started years ago! A tale that most of us do not know! Rhymes right! Well, the story goes this way..This art form was essentially practised by the women folk of Maithili. The women adorned the interior walls of their homes with these paintings. Although this art form dates back to the 7th century AD, it was only after the Bihar earthquake of 1934, that this art form became known to the outside world.  It is believed that this form of art began when the king of Maithili, King Janak, father of Sita ordered the people of his kingdom to decorate the town for Sita’s wedding.


Not only are these paintings exotic in their outlook, but also portray a rich historical perspective. It gives an insight into the lives of the womenfolk and is an illustration of their dreams, hopes and aspirations. All you ladies can well connect your personal lives to these stunning paintings. The wide-ranging themes underlying the paintings is its most intriguing feature. It revolves around nature, Hindu deities like Krishna, Durga, Ram, Lakshmi, social events like weddings, child-birth and other day-to-day activities. You definitely want to bring home these unique piece of art! In the paintings the characters are portrayed with large expressive eyes. Oh those striking eyes!

This art form is an amalgamation of simplicity, beauty and symbolism. The symbols used by the painters are a manifestation of day-to-day expressions and beliefs. For instance, fish is a symbol of fertility, good luck and reproduction, peacocks are symbolic of romance. It is characterized by the use of geometrical patterns, flora and fauna and vibrant colours.The paintings were made using fingers, bamboo twigs, cotton and matchsticks. Get your hands on these inimitable pieces and your home is sure to scream of uniqueness and ethnicity.

The colours used in the paintings are derived directly from nature, although nowadays synthetic colours are also used by painters. It’s totally environment friendly and you do not need to live with the guilt of exploiting mother nature!

Although it is practiced by women of all castes, there exists visible differences between the works of the upper caste- Brahmin and Kayastha women and that of the Harijan women. The paintings differ in terms of both style and theme. While the works of the Harijan women is a depiction of day-to-day life, the works of the Brahmin and Kayastha women depict mythological themes and focus on ornamentation. Owing to their respective lifestyles, the paintings of the Harijan women are simpler and less sophisticated. But at the end, all we get is curated treasure.

The intriguing feature of this form of art is that without having received any formal training, the paintings were made with such finesse and perfection. Be it your dining area, your hall or your bedroom, these paintings will give a whole new outlook to your space! You do not need to add contemporary pieces of art to complete you home! True is the saying “Old is gold”. Just add this touch of timeless art form to your living space and I bet, it will all be worth!

It is officially 21st century, but the definition of classic still dates back to ages ago! Come away with me to a land full of art! Art that recites poems and tales.



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