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Madhubani painting, also known as Mithila painting, is rich in art symbolism with a rare simplicity and beauty. Associated with Sita's home in Mithila (Bihar), stories of Ramayana are central to this form of painting. The Krishna lore with its inescapable romance has left its marks as well. Activities of life, ornate floral and geometric patterns, with inevitable Hindu icons forms, its distinctive style.
The renowned Madhubani painter, Urmila Devi Paswan learnt the art of painting in the'Godhna' tradition from the famous Late.Chano Devi who was also her mother in law. Today Urmila Devi isone of the foremost exponents of the Madhubani with 'Godhna' as her area of expertise. 'Godhna' is a kind of ritualistic, auspicious tattoo done by the 'nattins'- nomads of the region. In the last century, Madhubani painters have incorporated this body art into their characteristic more than realistic. The popular theme for these works is mostly gods from the epics but some paintings also depict tribal gods such as Raja Salesh and the god of the field, Raja Rao. A Lalitakala Akademi winner in 1986, Urmila Devi hails from Jitwarpur, the village of her maternal grandmother. Another peculiarity of the Jitwarpur school of Madhubani is that the art form is passed on through the matrilineal line. Her family of 15 are engaged in Madhubani art full time. Urmila Devi has been painting since the last forty five years and her works have been exhibited all over the world. Urmila Devi was awardedthe State Award by the Government of Bihar in the year 1985.
Shravan Paswan inherits the legacy of his mother Urmila Devi Paswan. Shravan, born at ‘Jith var pur’ of Madhubani in 1972, is special for more than one reason as he is spreading the flavour of ‘Madhubani’ art outiside Bihar too. Shravan Paswan belongs to the group of modern male artists who took over the art from the female counterparts. He learnt painting from Padmashree Sita Devi as well. His art workshave been on display at ‘Manava Sangrahalaya’ and ‘Delhi Haath’ of New Delhi. This helped Shravan Paswan to get recognition in national as well as international forums.
Apart from India, Shravan Paswan’s ‘Madhubani’ art works are well known Japan, Germany, America, England, France, China, Australia and many other countries. In India, Shravan Kumar Paswan has exhibited his talent in Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Kashmir, Kerala, Chennai, Bhopal, Pune and many other cities of the country. He is a known figure in coastal Karnataka also. In 2008, Shravan participated in ‘Alva’s Virasat’ at Moodbidri and in 2010 at Koteshwara in ‘National level artists’ workshop’..br.
The featured lot depicts the ritual dance of the Gopis around Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is depicted in the centre, surrounded by the circle of dancers who are caught within the whirling folds of their dance. Bright colours are characteristicof this lot. The lot is symbolic of love, music and joy associated with stories of Lord Krishna.