About Tanjore Painting
Tanjore painting is a form of painting, with a unique style which originated in Tanjavoor.
The creation of this painting involves a lot of dedication and several stages of meticulous art work.
These paintings are known for their surface richness, vivid colors, compact composition and breathtaking beauty. It comes in three finishes- normal, antique and embossed.
A typical Tanjore painting would consist of one main figure, usually a deity, with a well-rounded face, body and oval shaped eyes. The main figure would be enclosed using arches, curtains etc.
The paintings are decorated by gilded and gem-set technique, a technique where 22 ct gold leaves & sparkling tanjore stones are used to highlight certain aspects of the painting like ornaments, dresses etc.
Usages of 24ct Gold and real tanjore precious stones give a glowing radiance to the painting and the shine of the gold leaves lasts forever.
The Making of a Tanjore Painting
Stage 1 : Tanjore Paintings are made on canvasses which is a plank of wood (originally wood of the Jackfruit tree was used, now it's plywood) with a layer of cloth pasted on it using Arabic gum. The cloth is then evenly coated with a paste of limestone (chalk) and a binding medium and let to dry.
When the canvas is ready, the artist then draws a detailed sketch of the theme of the painting. A paste, made of limestone (chalk) and a binding medium, is used to create 3D effect in embellishing and ornamenting the theme of the painting using a brush.
Stage 2 : Real Tanjore gems of varied hues are fixed in selected areas like pillars, arches, curtains, thrones, dresses, jewellery etc.
22ct gold leaves are used to cover the embossed areas and then the colors are applied on the canvas. Shading and other intricate coloring work is carried out in this stage.Additional gems are fixed in the later stages if required
Maintaining your Tanjore Painting
All the products are insured against accidental damage during shipping so in case of breakage the products can be replaced.
Imported Italian flexi-glass (Acrylic sheet) is used instead of glass to avoid breakage during shipping
History of Tanjore painting:
Tanjore painting takes its origin form the murals of the vijayanagar period (1500-1600 AD). Tanjore paintings acquired its robust forms, architectural details and vibrant colors in this period.
The Maratha rule in the next two centuries brought a distinctive style change to the paintings.
The royal Maratha artists combined the existing mural style with amazing details characterized by exquisite workmanship of precious stones and gold leaves.
The British rule, brought into tanjore painting a small measure of western concept of three dimensionality - gessore work using chalk powder and adhesive to give a depth to the painting.
The art was practiced by two main communities namely - the Rajus of Tanjore & Trichy, the Naidus of Madurai.
With the decline of dynastic rule, the artists (Rajus), divided into 3 groups one heading to Vuyaioor, second group to Mysore, and the third stayed on at Tanjore.
The styles developed were slightly different from each other. The emphasis at Tanjore was on studded gems & gold leaves. At Vuyaioor importance was on decorative garland. In Mysore the emphasis was on intricate painting.
Over a period of time, changes have occurred in the stylization - for example, the figures are no longer round. Presiding deities of various famous temples are also being depicted in the paintings. The technique is now more in use than the style.
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