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Contemporary art

Asian art

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Couple in palanquin carried by kahars (marriage scene)

circa 1980s


Unknown Artist


For centuries, Hindu women around adhubani, in the Mithila region of Bihar, India, have decorated the walls of their village homes with vivid paintings to ward off evil, mark festivals, and commemorate passage rites. This longstanding tradition, however, remained largely unknown to outsiders until the late 1960s, when a severe drought, lasting up to two years, had a devastating impact on the region’s predominantly agrarian society. To provide the community with a non-agriculture-based income, the All India Handicrafts Board then urged the women to create their paintings on paper for commercial purposes and introduced the world to Madhubani or Mithila painting.

This painting depicts a bride and bridegroom being transported to the bride's house in a palanquin, a type of enclosed chair.


Place where the work was made

Madhubani Bihar India


circa 1980s

Media category


Materials used

pen and ink on paper


56.0 x 76.5 cm sight; 76.5 x 91.9 x 1.7 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Claudia Hyles 1999


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Indian Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2001–11 Jun 2001

Referenced in 2 publications


Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Contemporary Painting in Urban and Village India', Sydney, 2003, 53 (colour illus.).

Haema Sivanesan, Indian painting, 'Indian Painting', verso of poster., Sydney, 2001. 5.9