Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tanjore Paintings of Tanjore District, Tamil Nadu, India

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Tamil Nadu is known for its traditional ornate paintings, known as Tanjore or Thanjavur paintings. This is an important form of classical South Indian painting, native to the town of Tanjore, which is about 300Km from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. The art form dates back to the early 16th Century and is known for its elegance, rich colors, and tremendous attention to detail.

In finest Tanjore paintings , only 22 carat gold leaves are used.
It was during the Chola period, Thanjavur (now known as Tanjore), then the capital of Chola Empire, rose in its glory as a great contributor to the socio-economic and cultural development of the country. The mastery over craft and the excellence in engineering knowledge acquired by the Tanjore crafts persons are amply demonstrated by the imposing and towering temple architecture of Thanjavur. The majestic temple ‘Gopurams’ (towers) is not only an engineering marvel but also reflects the dexterity of its sculpture. The intricate work on stone still remains an enigma. These Gopurams have withstood the ravages of time and stands testimony to mastery of Tanjore craft and architecture prevalent during Chola Empire. Craft and art associated with architecture or other faculties of expression were essentially based on the culture prevailing then. Manifestations in the form of temples and art relating to God based themes were a result of the 'Bhakthi' culture (which was best represented by the Hindus with their devotion to God) prevalent in those days during Chola period.

Tanjore paintings have decorated the walls of temples, palaces, homes & other places since the time of Chola regime (17th century). Deeply rooted in ancient Hindu tradition, Tanjore paintings depict divine Gods and Goddesses of Hindu pantheon in extremely rich vibrant colours.

Notable for adornment of semi-precious stones and 22 karat gold foils, the creation of a Tanjore painting involves a lot of dedication and several stages of meticulous artwork.

The themes for most of these paintings are Hindu Gods and Goddesses and scenes from Hindu mythology. The portrayal of figures in these paintings is breathtakingly brilliant. The early paintings were embedded with real diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. Presently, pure gold foils and semi precious stones are used to adorn the paintings. 

A typical Tanjore painting of about 10’’x12’’ in size costs approximately $200. The pictures are of various sizes, ranging from huge works spanning whole walls to small miniatures no longer than 6-inch square!! These paintings which could once only be seen in temples and palaces, now beautify the homes of people, and the lobbies of hotels and corporate offices.

Tanjore paintings have a very rich heritage. The paintings are notable for their adornment in the form of semi-precious stones, pearls and gold. The rich vibrant colors, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine artistic work are characteristics of these paintings. They add immense beauty and culture to a variety of surroundings and décor. The paintings are mostly of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, because this art of painting flourished at a time when strikingly beautiful temples were being constructed by the rulers of several dynasties in South India.

Crafted with meticulous care & detail, the pictures are unique. What sets them apart from Indian paintings in general are the embellishments made over the basic drawings with precious and semi-precious stones as well as the relief work which gives them a three dimensional effect. 

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu God ; Baby Krishna

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu God Brahma & Goddess Saraswathi

Hindu God : Ganesha / Vighneshwara

Hindu Goddess : Gajalakshmi

Hindu Goddess : Gajalakshmi

Group of Ganeshas / Vighneshwaras

Hindu Gods

Hindu God : Karthikeya

Hindu God : Karthikeya

Hindu God : Karthikeya

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God : Baby Krishna

Hindu Goddess : Gajalakshmi

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu God Krishna with Goddess Radha

Hindu Goddess of Learning : Saraswathi

Hindu Goddess of Learning : Saraswathi









 



2 comments:

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