Friday, July 05, 2013

Madhubani Painting Guru Cremated with State Honours

Renowned Madhubani artist Mahasundari Devi, who died Thursday, was cremated with full state honours Friday in Bihar's Madhubani district.

Mahasundari's son Bipin Kumar Das lit the funeral pyre in the presence of thousands of people, including Bihar Minister Nitish Mishra.

Mahasundari, 82, died at a private nursing home in Madhubani.

She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2011 for her contribution to the art form.

Mahasundari was a born artist and would even as a child draw designs like Kohbar, Baans, Sita Swayamvar, Radha-Krishna on the mud walls of her house on ceremonial occasions.

According to her son, people from across the country and abroad, regularly visited her to learn Madhubani painting. "She also visited several countries to showcase her Madhubani painting," said Das.

Madhubani paintings date back to the seventh century A.D. Traditionally, they were made on the eve of certain rituals and ceremonies such as pujas, 'brats' (fasts) or weddings. However, in the last few decades, they have been popularised all over the world by famous painters, including Mahasundari Devi, one of the pioneers in this field.


Doyenne of Mithila painting Mahasundari Devi dies

TNN | Jul 5, 2013, 03.07 AM IST

MADHUBANI: Keeping ill for the last some months, 92-year-old Padmashri Mahasundari Devi, the doyenne of Mithila painting, breathed her last at her native village, Ranti, near Madhubani on Thursday morning. Her last rites will be performed on Friday, said her eldest son, Bipin Kumar Das. She has left behind a large family including three sons, daughters and grandchildren to mourn her death.

Barely literate, she took to painting when only a child and acquired proficiency in the art form under the guidance of her aunt, Devsundari Devi. She was renowned for her mastery over Sikki work, 'sujani' craft, clay work and paper mache apart from Mithila painting. Apart from over two dozen national and state awards to her credit, the two prestigious awards __ Padmashri and Shilp Guru __ came her way in 2010. Widely travelled, the late Mahasundari Devi did her last painting in 2011, family sources informed.

The news about her death was widely condoled by a cross section of people here. The void created by her death in the social and cultural life of Mithila can hardly be filled up, condolence messages unanimously reflect. Prominent among those who sent prompt reactions on getting the sad news included Narendra Narain Singh 'Nirala', retired district and sessions judge Sachchidanand Jha, retired DIG Chandra Shekhar Das, Lalit Narain Mithila University Teachers Association (LNMUTA) president Chandra Mohan Jha, Kuldhari Singh and Prof S N Mishra.