Mundane musings: Revisiting Mitihila art in four powerful paintings

In the Mithila art tradition, which has been passed from generation to generation in southern Nepal, and parts of India, women and their daily lives are always at the centre.

Artists play with natural colours and use their fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, to make eye-catching geometrical patterns.

Artist Umesh Shah, in his series of powerful paintings ‘Innovation in Tradition’, portrays the social life of women in Mithila.



This image, for example, portrays the relationship between a newly-wed couple. The painting shows how men and women play different roles in Mithila.



Shah’s paintings look at the daily chores women of Mithila perform. In this painting, Shah portrays the work that goes into preparing meal for a household in Mithila.



The other issue that his paintings touch upon is that of love, and sex. Many of the portraits in the series represent women looking at themselves in the mirror.




Siddhartha Gallery’s Sangeeta Thapa says Shah’s paintings offer a unique perspective into the Mithila society, and the position of women.

The exhibition is on till Thursday June 30.


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