BHARTI DHAYAL (INDIAN, B. 1961)
A MITHILA PAINTING OF SHRI KRISHNA PLAYING THE FLUTE
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
Mithila region, Bihar, Central India, ca. 1980's
Acrylic colours and vegetal dyes on handmade paper, the square composition depicting the blue-skinned Hindu god Krishna playing the flute against a background of scrolling branches enhanced with green and pink leaves, encased within a border of elongated pink and yellow boteh (paisley leaf) motifs, signed by the artist in the lower-right corner, mounted, glazed and framed, at the back of the frame a comprehensive note on the tradition of Mithila paintings, their techniques and the name of the artist, 36cm x 36cm including the frame.
Bharti Dayal was born in North Bihar, the Mithila region famous for Madhubani painting. Today, her name features within the group of well-regarded and multi-award-winning Mithila artists, along with Sita Devi, Ganga Devi, Godavari Dutta and Leela Devi. These women all aim to keep this fascinating technique of Indian painting alive. Dayal herself was awarded with the AIFACS (All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society) title and in 2006, India's National Award for excellence in handicrafts.
The unique artistic tradition of Mithila painting (or Madhubani painting) has its roots in the ancient kingdom of Mithila, in modern-day Bihar. Practiced exclusively by women, Mithila pictures are made on walls and floors of their traditional homes on auspicious and festive occasions. The pictures' repertoire harks back at ancient legends, epics and mythological stories, all imbued with Vedic and Tantric symbolism. The colours are uniquely plant-based and the artists use fingers, twigs, nib-pen and brushes to achieve the final composition.
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