Mithila art

Thursday, February 09, 2012
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Mithila art comes from a region that spreads between northern India and Nepal. Originally it consisted of wall and floor paintings to decorate houses. In the 1960s, in an attempt to alleviate the poverty of the area, the All India Handicraft Board collected samples of their drawings on heavy paper and sold them in New Dehli. They sold well, and since then Mihilia art has been actively collected.

The topics of Mithila art are every day activities, myths and a lot of politics. For example, the image above is captioned "Chief Minister Modi rises as a hero for Hindu fanatics while Gujarat burns and Gandhi is forgotten." They are striking in how detailed the patterns in them are, as well as by what seems to be a mix of both modern and yet very traditional graphic styling.

I've gathered a few more samples of Mithila art, some of which are after the jump. They are all from the Oberlin College Digital Collections. I found that site via 50 Watts.