Painting is a mode of expression for human thought. In the Indian context, art emerged when homo sapiens painted on mud surface through twigs, fingers or bone points which could not withstand the ravages of time. The earliest available examples found from the Mesolithic caves evolved their way with their continous presence in the daily lives of people. So developed the wall painting tradition of India, of which Madhubani is a famous name.

Madhubani painting is said to have developed in the ancient city of Mithila, the birth place of Sita, daughter of king Janak. It is said that the Mithila paintings were commissioned by the king to commemorate the marriage of his daughter to Lord Rama of Ayodhya. It was recognised as kulin art or art of the pure castes. It continues to flourish as a household art, mainly as social customs and practises. Due to the growing demand of this artform, the artists cease to confine themselves to walls and have started painting on canvases, paper and other objects. The publications, photographs and educational films by E. Moser Schmitt give us a first-hand account of themes, techniques and social backgrounds, philosophically, Madhubani painting is a living tradition based on principles of dualisms, where opposites run in dualisms – day or night, sun or moon, etc. They represent a holistic universe, inundated with deities, sun and moon, flora and fauna, among others. It also includes symbols from buddhism, tantric symbols, Islamic sufism, and classical Hinduism.

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