Originating in Bihar, Madhubani or Mithila paintings were once drawn on walls and doors of homes as a gesture to delight God. As the time progressed, the art graduated to other mediums like cloth, hand-made paper and even canvas. And today, it has become widely popular, owing to its unique designs and rustic look.
The figures of Gods and Goddesses usually form the core theme of these paintings, while geometric patterns complement them beautifully. Colours used are mostly natural dyes, extracted from vegetable and are applied with a cloth wrapped around a bamboo stick that forms the brush. Other distinguishing characters of the paintings include double-line border, intricate floral design along with bold use of colours.
Interestingly, most of the figures in these paintings carry a symbolic meaning – fishes depicting good luck, procreation and fertility; peacocks denoting romantic associations and serpents representing the role of divine protectors.