Tanjore Art

Tanjore painting

Tanjore paintings also known as 'Tanjavur paintings' have decorated the walls of temples, palaces and homes since the chola dynasty(17th century). Deeply rooted in tradition, Tanjore paintings depict divine Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon in rich vibrant colors. Tanjore Paintings evoke a sense of class and timelessness with their alluring illustrations of puranic scenes. This ancient art form traces its origin to Tanjavur, capital of the erstwhile chola empire and is popular among contemporary Indian women for showcasing their artistic inclination and tastes.[1]


Tanjore paintings are also popularly known as Thanjavur paintings named after a place in South India. Tanjore paintings evolved during the 16th century when the Chola emperors ruled southern india. Like we all know, Chola emperors were great lovers of art and built beautiful temples. Eventhough these paintings have been popular from the 16th century, only a few handful paintings are available from that period.


Tanjore paintings are created using semi precious stones, glass pieces and 22 carat gold foli, which is used to fill the surroundings. Tanjore paintings are created on wood and cloth made canvas. Tanjore paintings are normally framed, to protect them from pests. To create an embossed effect a mixture with chalk powder and gum is used and the semi precious stones are fixed on top of the paste. Since high quality 22 carat gold foil is used, these thanjavur paintings can last for many generations, and even a medium sized painting will be on the slightly expensive side. Tanjore paintings require a lot of dedication and meticulous work from the artists. To create a medium sized tanjore painting, artists can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months to complete it.[2]