The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting are shrouded in antiquity. Tradition states that this style of painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at the time of marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Lord Ram.

Madhubani painting has been done traditionally by the women of villages around the present town of Madhubani (the literal meaning of which is forests of honey) and other areas of Mithila. The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, hand-made paper and canvas.

As 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.


Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women.

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