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A painting is equal to thousand words, means a beautiful painting is equal to million of words. Paintings are one of the oldest art forms -- throughout history artists have played an important role in documenting social movements, spiritual beliefs and general life and culture.

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Tanjore Paintings - The Art of Chola Dynasty Period

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 2:55 AM
Tanjore Painting is a peculiar, ancient and miniature type of painting named after the place Thanjavur (called Tanjore in English) in Tamil Nadu, India. Tanjore painting is an important form of classical South Indian painting. Tanjore paintings have a very rich heritage. Essentially serving as devotional icons, these paintings depict the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, holy saints and scenes from Hindu mythology in rich vibrant colors.

Most of the paintings depict the Child Krishna and his various pranks. Important deities of various renowned temples are also being depicted in these paintings. The paintings are mostly of Hindu Gods and Goddesses because this art of painting developed at a time when good-looking and striking temples were being constructed by rulers of several dynasties. This style of painting has been followed widely by the people in Southern Tamil Nadu for the past two centuries. The art flourished in Tanjavoor, the capital city of the Chola dynasty, and thus got its name. Maratha princes, Nayaks of Vijaynagar dynasty, Trichi and Naidus of Madurai patronized the art of Tanjore painting from 16 to 18th centuries. Tanjore paintings are deeply rooted in tradition and still innovative within limits. This art form is sacred and dedicated. 

Tanjore paintings are notable for their adornment in the form of semi-precious stones, pearls, glass pieces and gold. The rich vibrant colors, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine artistic work are some of the chief characteristics of these paintings. They add beauty and culture to a variety of surroundings and decor. The figures in these paintings are large and the faces are round and divine. This art form dates back to a period dominated by the Chola rulers, who encouraged art and literature. These paintings are known for their elegance, rich colors and attention to detail. In modern times, these paintings have become a much sought after souvenir during festive occasions in South India. These beautiful paintings can be given to your near and dear ones for any occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, Diwali and birthdays.

Tanjore paintings have a spiritual background. Like other form of art, this too has many schools of style. Some of the artists are traditionalists, while some believe in creativity and innovation. These are the ultimate forms of expression of love of Godhead, truth, beauty and devotion. Hundreds of devoted artists from Tamil Nadu have kept alive this beautiful form of art and have brought about new innovations to it. Made with meticulous care, these paintings are unique. What sets them apart from Indian paintings in general are the adornments made over the basic drawings with precious and semi-precious stones as well as the beautiful work which gives them a three dimensional effect.

As far as the cost of the paintings is concerned, a lot depends on the age, quality, and subject, intricacy of the work and usage of gold. The creation of this painting involves a lot of dedication and several stages of meticulous art work. The first and primary step is the preparation of a board (wooden plank) for painting. The paintings are made on unbleached cloth (treated with chalk powder and glue) fixed to a wooden board. Next, an appropriate drawing is trace on the treated board. This step is followed for ornamental work where semi-precious stones and glass pieces are stuck to form garlands, jewels etc.

The traced outline is then painted with a combination of chalk powder and gum arabica to create a three dimensional effect. A paste, made of limestone and binding medium, is also used to create 3D effect. Gold leaves and germs of varied hues are used in selected areas such as pillars, thrones etc. The old Tanjore artists restricted their scope to the divine figures and used to mix their natural colors. In modern days, for outline dark brown is usually used and red is used for backgrounds. Red background is distinctive mark of Tanjore paintings, but green is sometimes used. Yellow is used for goddesses, whereas Lord Vishnu is depicted in blue color. The portrayals of the figures in these paintings are brilliant and shining. Almost all the figures have round bodies and almond shaped eyes, which is extraordinary to Tanjore paintings.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

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