The matsya (fish) motif holds pride of place in Indian culture and art. It is the form resorted to by Lord Vishnu in one of His all-important avataras (incarnations). It is the most sattvik of the animal manifestations of prakrti (nature). In the diverse settlements along the ample Indian coast it is both the subject of worship as well as the object of livelihood. On this page is a Madhubani-style painting of a mandala (roughly translated to ‘universe’) of fish of numerous colours and shapes.
The fish swim in the white and grey foam of dancing saltwaters. As they swim about in concentric circles covering the entirety of the canvas, they form a kaleidoscopic view of basic, vibrant pastels. Cobalt blue and turquoise green and marigold orange and earthy brown. Heads shoving against tails, eyes peering characteristically out of their sockets. Each of the circle of fish is distinguished by a curve of miniscule triangles in the same colours as the bodies of the creatures that swim between them.
The humble origin of Madhubani paintings lies in the Mithila region of Bihar. The homebound women of the rural region developed their own rudimental but expressive style as they painted on the mud walls of their humble homes. Today these works of folk art are made on mobile canvases because they are desired by patrons of traditional Indian art the world over. The unusual one that you see on this page would be a fine addition to your space.
MADHUBANI PAINTING ON HAND MADE PAPER
FOLK PAINTING FROM THE VILLAGE OF MADHUBANI (BIHAR)
ARTIST: RAMA PYARI DEVI
28.50 INCH X 20.50 INCH