Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India, and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. There are paintings for each occasion such as birth, marriage, and religious festivals. The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting are shrouded in antiquity and mythology.
Traditionally Madhubani painting/Mithila painting was done by the women of villages around the present town of Madhubani and Darbhanga and other areas of Mithila, and was done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. Madhubani painting has been accorded the coveted GI (Geographical Indication) status.
Now Madhubani painting are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. The paints are made from the paste of powdered rice with colours derived from plants, and natural ochre and lampblack (soot) are used for reddish brown and black respectively and tools include fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks.
Madhubani paintings mostly depict humans and their association with nature and the scenes and deities from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and geometric designs.