Lot 4
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a) Shiva on bull
Signed and dated 'Rudhan Devi 19.11.85' (on the reverse)
Natural pigment on paper
21.75 x 29.75 in (55.5 x 75.6 cm)

b) Lion
Natural pigment on paper
22 x 30 in (55.9 x 76.6 cm)

c) Kali
Natural pigment on paper
19.75 x 29.5 in (50.4 x 75.4 cm)

(Set of three)

Mithila is a region in the Darbhanga district of Bihar, and has long been associated with myths and legends. The region's art forms flourished under the patronage of rulers such as Harisimha Deva, and the various Karnataka dynasties from the 12th - 14th centuries.

Mithila paintings are made by women from Brahmin and Kayastha families. Traditionally, they would paint the walls of their homes to celebrate auspicious occasions, such as birth, marriage, and religious rituals. Paintings draw from a standard repertoire of stylised images, but every family and caste has its own pictorial tradition. This lends each painting a distinct style and character. "In the Maithili wall paintings... the figures are evenly distributed over the area to which they adhere with a clear colour spread within the circumscribing drawing." (Stella Kramrisch, Unknown India: Ritual Art in Tribe and Village, Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968)

Writing about paintings encountered on a visit to Mithila in the 1950s, cultural scholar Pupul Jaykar recalls that in some paintings, "vertical and horizontal arrangements were used to divide the paintings to indicate incidents separated by time and space. Devices used in miniature painting to convey vastness by placing minute figures of man, animal or bird in juxtaposition with towering forms, so suggesting and establishing scale, were visible in these paintings... [some] had the spatial quality of frescoes." (Pupul Jaykar, The Earthern Drum: An Introduction to the Visual Arts of Rural India, New Delhi: The National Museum, 1980, p. 95) Artists practising Mithila painting now use paper in addition to the age-old tradition of painting on walls.

Among the most well-known artists of this tradition are Baua Devi, Jagdamba Devi, Sita Devi, Ganga Devi, Ookha Devi, and Yamuna Devi.

  Lot 4 of 75  

16-17 MARCH 2016


Winning Bid
Rs 1,20,384

(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)



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