Indian Tanjore Paintings



Tanjore Painting in India is considered as one of the most popular forms of classical South Indian painting. It is the native art form of Thanjavur which is also known as Tanjore city of Tamil Nadu. Due to the dense composition, surface richness and vibrant colors, the Indian Thanjavur Paintings distinguished themselves from the other types of paintings.

The painting includes the embellishments of semi-precious stones, pearls and glass pieces that would further add to their appeal. The relief work which is done gives them a three dimensional effect. Tanjore Painting in India originated during the 16th century, during the rule of the Great Cholas.

The unbeatable Maratha princes, Nayakas, Rajus communities of Tanjore and Trichy, while the Naidus of Madurai also patronized Indian Thanjavur Paintings from 16th to 18th century.

Most of Tanjore paintings revolve usually around the theme of Hindu Gods and Goddesses who are along with saints. In these paintings the main figure is always painted at the center of the painting.

Tanjore paintings are mainly done on solid wood planks and are locally known as 'Palagai Padam'.

Making of Tanjore Painting

Steps involved in the making of the Tanjore Painting are: First it is the drawing of the preliminary sketch of the image which is imagined on the base. The base is made up of a cloth, which is being pasted over a wooden base. The second step is to mix chalk powder or zinc oxide with water-soluble adhesive and apply it on the base.

Then later the drawing is made and ornamented with cut glass, pearls and other semi-precious stones. Laces or threads are also used to decorate the painting. To further enhance the effect, thin wafer sheets of gold are pasted in relief on some parts of the painting, while the other parts are painted in bright colors.

Theme of Tanjore Paintings

Tanjore paintings are being inspired by classical dance, music and literature. The themes of the painting are of Hindu deities, figures, birds, flowers, animals and saints.

Tanjore Paintings are used to adorn the walls of houses and are even given as a gift to the near and dear ones during auspicious occasions, family gathering and celebrations like such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. Tanjore paintings are deeply rooted to the art and culture of India.

Tanjore Paintings in Modern Times

Modern day Tanjore Paintings are becoming very much famous all over the world. Tanjore Paintings have become very much inspiring in the modern times. In this hectic world such painting provide peace to those who own them and those who make them. It has become evena motivational therapy for peace. With the changing times and eras the Tanjore paintings have seen transformation in their painting art and painting prints.

During festive occasions in South India, Tanjore paintings are being gifted as souvenirs. They are largely used as a decorative item to change the ambience and the environment of a house or office. Many art lovers are fond of collecting and treasuring them as collectors' pieces.