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Art and Craft of Bihar

Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting practised in the Mithila Darbhanga, Madhubani region of Bihar, where powdered rice is coloured and is stuck. 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.

The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Mithila painting mostly depict men and its association with Nature & scene and deities from ancient epics like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. 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. 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. The painting was usually done on walls during festivals, religious events, and other milestones of the life-cycle such as birth, Upanayanam (Sacred thread ceremony), and marriage.

This painting is in fact the simplistic manifestation of philosophical heights achieved by our Nation in yesteryears. There are so many famous Mithila artist like Smt Bharti Dayal, Mahasundari devi, late Ganga devi, late Sita devi & others who have induced an intellectual edge in their paintings & made it Famous and prestigious Worldwide! Bharti Dayal is considered as one of the greatest Madhubani painter as her art is a unique amalgamation of Heritage and modernity .

It is remarkable for its ingenuity, grace and balance! Her work is experimental and authentic. Radha is not an only mythical character hemmed in by tradition but a selfless striver for sublimity also in Bharti's canvases !! Besides National Award she has also been Honoured with The Vishist Bihari Samman amid festivities to commemorate 100 year of Bihar.

Manjusha Art or Angika Art is an art form of Anga region of Bihar. Notably artist Jahar Dasgupta born in Jamshedpur, Bihar which is presently under state Jharkhand. Manjusha art or Angika Art Originated in AngaPradesh (Present Day Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tarai area of the Nepal) which was used in Bihula-Vishahri Pooja, celebrated usually in August to please snake gods(Nag).

Manjusha Art is one of the very old and historically very important Art which is expression wise not less than Madhubani Art or any art of India. Manjusha Art or Manjusha Kala is often referred to as Snake Paintings by foreigners as swirling snakes in the art depict the central character Bihula’s tale of love and sacrifice.

Legends says that five daugheters of Lord Shiva -Maina, Bhawani, Devi, Padma and Jaya known as Bishahari (Meaning Person carrying Poison). They requested to Workship earth Which Shiva granted and This Festival of Bishari started. Manjushas are temple-shaped boxes, Containg 8 -Pillars.

They are made of bamboo, jute and paper. They also contains Painting of Gods and Goddesses and Other Characters. These boxes are used in Bishahari puja -A festival Dedicated to Snake God, Celebrated in Bhagalpur, India A painting of the city of Patna, on the River Ganges, Patna School of Painting

Patna School of Painting or Patna Qalaam, some times also called Company painting, offshoot of the well-known Mughal Miniature School of Painting flourished in Bihar during early 18th to mid-20th century. The practitioners of this art form were descendants of Hindu artisans of Mughal painting who facing persecution from the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb found refuge, via Murshidabad, in Patna during late 18th century.

They shared the characteristics of the Mughal painters, but unlike them (whose subjects included only royalty and court scenes), the Patna painters also started painting bazaar scenes. The paintings were executed in watercolours on paper and on mica.

Favourite subjects were scenes of Indian daily life, local rulers, and sets of festivals and ceremonies. Most successful were the studies of natural life, but the style was generally of a hybrid and undistinguished quality. It is this school of painting that formed the nucleus for the formation of the Patna Art School under the leadership of Shri Radha Mohan. College of Arts and Crafts, Patna is an important centre of fine arts in Bihar.

The artisans of Bihar have been very skilful in creating articles using local materials. Baskets, cups and saucers made from bamboo-strips or cane reed are painted in vivid colours are commonly found in Bihari homes. A special container woven out of Sikki Grass in the north, the "pauti", is a sentimental gift that accompanies a bride when she leaves her home after her wedding. The weavers of Bihar have been practising their trade for centuries. Among their products in common use are the cotton dhurries and curtains.

They are produced by artisans in central Bihar, particularly in the Patna and Biharsharif areas. These colourful sheets, with motifs of Buddhist artefacts, pictures of birds, animals, and/or flowers, gently wafting in the air through doors and windows, blown by a cool summer breeze, used to be one of the most soothing sights as one approached a home or an office. Bhagalpur is well known for its seri-culture, manufacture of silk yarn and weaving them into lovely products. It is known as the tussah or tusser silk.

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