Epitome of Artistic Brilliance, Padmashri Godavari Dutta has continued to enlighten young minds about Mithila Art

Arijit Bose

Lucknow: A living legend in the Mithila artform, the highly decorated Padmashri Godavari Dutta has made giant strides in taking the Mithila art form of Bihar beyond the borders of this great nation. The name of Padmashri Godavari Dutta is taken with great respect in the world of art. It is Godavari Dutta’s hard toil that Mithila art is now a globally recognized phenomenon. Single handedly thousands of people have also been trained with this method and this art has become a means of earning a living for many people.

In the fifth edition of the ongoing art talks and workshop overview on the online platform of Asthana Art Forum, Padmashree Godavari Dutta, joined as an invited artist. She shared her long art journey. Along with this, people from all over the country and abroad enjoyed this special program through Google Meet.

Curator Bhupendra Kumar Asthana shared that nonagenarian Padmashri Godavari Dutta, the Mahadevi of Mithila painting, is still active, it is a matter of great happiness for the art world. Today the market of Mithila folk art, which is famous all over the world, is very good. Foreign tourists, searching Mithila’s villages on Google, reach their homes directly, yet they make very few pictures, but what they make becomes a historical artifact. The artist, who has been honored with two dozen awards, was awarded the Padma Shri award in 2019. Like most of the Mithila painters, her personal life has been very troubled.

A resident of Ranti village in Madhubani district of Bihar. Mithila is one of the early artists of painting. She was born on 7 November 1930 in Bahadurpur village of Darbhanga district of Bihar. Godavari Dutta’s formal education took place only till the ninth standard. She received traditional art education from her mother Subhadra Devi. In 2018, she made a 12 feet long and 18 feet wide Cobra, which is a painting of 6’×6′ size for the Electricity Board’s Art Gallery in Patna’s Bihar Museum. Her artifacts have got pride of place among Japanese art lovers in the Mithila Museum of Japan.

Interestingly she has a deep rooted connection with Japan. She has been to Japan 7 times between 1989 and 1995. Dutta has composed thousands of paintings till now. But she is most famous for the Samudra manthan, Trishul, Cobra, Krishna, Damru, Chakra, Basukinag, Ardhanarishvara and Bodhi tree.

Dutta is very fond of Shiva’s Trishul, which has immense ability to protect or destroy the whole world. The 18 feet long and 5 feet wide trident made by her is on display in the Mithila Museum in Japan. Dutta has so far been honored by countless art-institutes in the country and abroad. She has received about four dozen awards including Life Time Achievement Award (2014), Shilp Guru (2006), National Award (1980), State Award (1973) by the Government of Bihar.

On March 16, 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind honored him with the Padma Shri. Padma Shri award to Godavari Dutta is an honor for an artist who spent seven creative decades promoting traditional Madhubani painting, training and guiding budding artists.

She had a direct interaction with artist and art writer Ravindra Das. Along with the chief guest Manisha Jha, an artist and architect who knows Mithila art and its market closely, also highlighted the nuances of Dutta’s work and the importance of her artworks. Manisha Jha is a famous architect who has now made a new identity as a Mithila painting painter.

She is a self-trained artist awarded with National Award. She was born in Raghopur Saharsa Bihar, her father is also a famous architect. Seeing her grandmother Mata Manju Devi making paintings, she was inspired since childhood. To make Mithila a better market for art, she established Madhubani Art Center in Delhi. Her paintings have been displayed in the country and abroad. Till now many of his books have also come.

In the Madhubani style, the paintings are drawn with very fine lines. Earlier, due to the change in time on the walls, work is being done on paper and canvas. The use of bright vibrant colors and drawing the scenes in a very simple and simple manner is the main feature of this style. In Mithilanchal, women make Madhubani paintings on other auspicious occasions, in which it is a traditional custom to paint deities, natural scenes, trees, plants, animals, fish etc.

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