The founder Vanmathi Balakrishnan hails from Kumbakonam town in the Tanjore District. She has been trained in the traditional art form by the native artisans of the Tanjore region for several years.
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Tanjore Paintworks - Some Amazing Works from The Past
August 29, 2022
Tanjore painting or Thanjavur painting is an ancient Indian painting style named after the city of Thanjavur, the town from which it originated. As the painting is crafted on a wooden plank, it is locally known as 'Palagai Padam,' where the word 'Palagai' means wooden plank and 'Padam' means painting. Vibrant natural colors, glass beads, semi-precious gems and stones, and glittering gold leaves make Tanjore paintings popular worldwide. Antique Tanjore's paintings have their roots linked to the reign of the Rayas of Vijayanagara during 1600 AD. During their reign, Rayas encouraged various art forms, including music, literature, dance, and painting. However, the modern Tanjore painting style, as we know it today, is significantly influenced by the Maratha Empire. Earlier, Tanjore paintings were decorated with natural diamonds and precious stones but gradually, artificial, and semi-precious stones and gems gained more popularity. After the fall of the Maratha rule in the region, the Britishers came to Thanjavur and extensively patronized Thanjavur painting and its artists. Britishers installed their garrison in the city and created their army base in Thanjavur in 1773. Since then, the Tanjore painting artisan has crafted several paintings for British personnel throughout the 19th century. Several antique Tanjore paintings crafted during this period are available in various places. These paintings and artwork are still a significant attraction in multiple museums and temples. Some Amazing Tanjore Artworks Some antique Tanjore paintings can still be found in several temples and museums across the world, such as the walls of Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, Varadaraja Temple and Kamakshi Temple in Kanchipuram, Leepakshi Temple in Andhra Pradesh, Government Museum, Chennai, Thanjavur Art Gallery, and Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur, the British Victoria & Albert museums in England, National Museum of New Delhi, and the National Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark. Here are some sites in India and across the world that are decorated by Tanjore paintings: Brihadeeshwara Temple This historical temple is located in the district of Thanjavur, the city where the painting style originated. The temple houses paintings of the Chola dynasty from the 11th century, along with paintings from the Nayaka period of the 16th century. The Chola dynasty paintings were superimposed on Nayaka paintings in many places. During the rule of the Maratha empire in the region, Thanjavur painting artists were immensely influenced by the Maratha artisans who used precious gems, stones, and gold foils in their paintings. Thanjavur artisans used the newly acquired painting technique to craft several paintings on the temple's walls. These paintings are still decorating the temples' walls and are of great interest to tourists and historians. Recently, a new set of Chola paintings was discovered inside the temple. These paintings were found on the walls of secret corridors within the temple. The passage connects the temple with RajaRaja Chola. Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswathi Mahal Library Thanjavur is home to another historical place, Saraswathi Mahal Library, built by Serfoji II. It is one of the oldest libraries in Asia. The library holds several pieces of Tanjore art crafted during the Chola dynasty and Maratha empire in Thanjavur. Prabodha Chandrodayam, a Sanskrit work in the library, still has a few pages containing Tanjore painting images. Apart from this, The Marathi translation of Bhagavatham and Mahabharata also holds works of Madhava Swami, a renowned Tanjore painter. The library also contains Tanjore-style glass paintings, wooden paintings, canvas paintings, paper paintings, and portraits of Chola and Maratha kings. Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam is a collection of 64 devotional epic stories depicting the miracles of Lord Shiva. After the downfall of the Maratha empire, the Chettiar community continued patronizing the Thanjavur painting style. Being loyal to the Shaivites, Chettiars encouraged Tanjore painting with the Shaivite theme. A monastery in Koviloor has huge antique Tanjore paintings portraying the lives of 63 Shaivite saints or Nayanmars and Lord Shiva's 64 miracles. Virupaksha Temple Virupaksha Temple is the only surviving Vijayanagara monument in Hampi, and Tanjore paintings can still be found on the walls of these temples. The temple is dedicated to Virupaksha, Lord Shiva's form. It was built in 1509 CE by Sri Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara emperor. The ceilings and walls of the Maharangamantapa contain mural paintings crafted during the Vijayanagara empire. Varadharaja Perumal Temple Varadharaja Perumal Temple is a temple located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is amongst the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu that were visited by Alvars, the 12 saint poets. The paintings in the temple were crafted during the 16th century under the rule of the Vijayanagara rulers. The temple is a repository of the ancient painting style, but the paintings deteriorate due to negligence. The temple also has an antique Tanjore painting of all the 108 'Divya Desams' (Temples of Lord Vishnu) on its wall. Lepakshi Temple Lepakshi Temple is located in Sri Sathya Sai, Andhra Pradesh. The temple was constructed in 1583 by Viranna and Virupanna, the brothers serving the Vijayanagara emperor, King Achutaraya. The temple is built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture. It is famous for its repository of fine paintings of the Vijayanagara empire. The paintings on the walls and ceilings of the temple are regarded as the best-preserved pictorial craft of the Vijayanagara period in South India. Government Museum, Chennai The Government Museum of Chennai, India's second oldest museum, started in 1851. The National Art Gallery within the museum's premises housed many rare Asian and European paintings of some prominent authors. The museum holds several Tanjore paintings from the Tanjore School of Arts and Crafts. These antique Tanjore paintings include portraits of Maratha kings, Hindu gods and goddesses in various postures, and several painted scenes of Indian households, lifestyles, and festivals. Most of these paintings were created during the Maratha empire and are decorating the walls of the National Art Gallery of Chennai. Thanjavur Art Gallery Thanjavur Art gallery is located in Thanjavur's royal palace of the Nayaka rulers. The gallery is among the significant attractions in Tamil Nadu. It houses various historical objects, sculptures, paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses, and artworks crafted during the Pallava, Nayaka, Chola, and Maratha empires. It also holds some great Tanjore paintings created in the past by skilled Tanjore artisans during these periods. Some antique Tanjore paintings preserved in this historical art gallery are sourced from the Tanjore School of Art and Craft. Tanjore paintings in the Thanjavur art gallery also have a fine collection of Tanjore paintings depicting various Maratha kings who ruled this region and their allies. National Museum of New Delhi The National Museum in the capital city of India also houses an astonishing collection of Tanjore paintings. The Tanjore and Mysore Painting Gallery of the museum hosts paintings from the two famous schools of art in South India – Mysore and Tanjore. The Tanjore paintings of Vaishnavism portray the Hindu god Lord Vishnu in his different incarnations, including Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama. The gallery hosts around 88 Tanjore paintings, including Sita-Rama and Shiva-Parvati wedding scene paintings, Nataraja Shiva, Navaneeta Krishna, Rama Pattabhisheikha, Darbar of Maratha ruler Serfoji II, and King Shivaji II paintings. Victoria and Albert Museum The Victoria and Albert Museum in London also holds an extensive collection of Thanjavur paintings made by Indian artists for the British company. It is the largest museum in the world that houses decorative arts, applied arts, designs, and other collections. After the fall of the Maratha Empire, Britishers ruled over the Thanjavur town and created their army base in the city. They also patronized the Thanjavur painting style and encouraged modern Tanjore painting artisans to craft paintings for the British East India Company. The Jawahar Lal Nehru gallery of Indian Art within the museum houses Indian art from 500 B.C. to the 19th century. The museum houses a wide range of Tanjore paintings, including Hindu gods and goddesses' paintings, Maratha ruler paintings, warriors, and other scenes depicting the lives of ordinary people in India. These paintings describe dresses, occupations, customs, festivals, and tools during the 17th century. National Museum of Copenhagen Apart from the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, The National Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark, also holds a vast collection of Tanjore paintings crafted in the 17th century. Denmark's King Christian IV received permission to build fort Dansborg at Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu. This relationship between Denmark and Thanjavur resulted in a collection of vast Thanjavur art in the Danish National Museum. The museum houses two antique Tanjore paintings of Serfoji II, the Maratha ruler. Tanjore painting has a special place in Indian art history, and the painting style has been around for more than five centuries. Although the artform underwent several changes, the basic technique remained the same. The painting style has stood through times, and we can still find paintings decorating the walls and ceilings of temples and museums across the country and the world. Apart from the above lists of places hosting antique Tanjore paintings, several other historical sites like South Indian temples and forts still have faint traces of Tanjore paintings. One such example is the Thiruvaiyaru Chatram constructed by Serfoji II after he returned from Kashi. The walls of this building hold traces of Maratha-style Tanjore paintings crafted using glass beads and semi-precious gems and stones. Conclusion Several other buildings in and around Thanjavur have Tanjore paintings on their walls and ceilings. However, most of these are deteriorating and disappearing due to negligence and vandalism. Many private collectors and museums also possess antique collections of Tanjore paintings. If you want to purchase a masterpiece Tanjore painting, go to Mangala Tanjore Paintings. Visit the website today to learn more!
Visiting a Tanjore Art Gallery: How to Get a Cost-worthy Tanjore Painting
July 28, 2022
Ancient traditional Indian folk art, known as Thanjavur Paintings, frequently features mythology. They demonstrate how spirituality is necessary for the creation of art. The Tanjore Temple Painting style of traditional South Indian art was developed in Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in the second half of the 16th century. The Tanjore temple painting style of art first appeared in Thanjavur, the former capital of the Chola Empire. It now has a distinctive appearance that is enhanced with intricate architectural details and vibrant colors, influenced by the imperial era's murals. The distinct Thanjavur or Tanjore temple painting style that is so well-known today is known to have flourished in Thanjavur's Maratha court between the 17th and 19th centuries. The Maratha people of India, who had been practicing painting for centuries, found new ways to depict the human body and naturalistic landscapes under the guidance of King Serfoji II, who played a particularly significant role in the development of this art form. Artistic Changes These Tanjore temple paintings offer an impression of the serenity and robustness of Puranic scenes. The attractive design and realistic illustrations in this collection set it apart. Throughout the Mughal era, the aesthetic underwent numerous changes. The nearly two centuries that the Marathas ruled Thanjavur saw a distinct style change in the paintings of the city. Maratha artists decided to enhance the existing mural-based design with unique details showing exquisite craftsmanship. The gods have almond-shaped eyes, and the figures in the paintings are well-rounded. An arch, curtains, etc would be used to create a container to keep the figure inside. This folk art from India emphasizes ornaments, dresses, and other details with shimmering stones and gold leaves. Some popular subjects in Tanjore paintings include Krishna, Balaji, Lakshmi, and Ganesha. Thanjavur is known for its beautiful and vividly colored paintings. The artwork's pronounced glow gives the impression of presence in a pitch-black room. While some Thanjavur paintings also use glass and walls, wooden canvases make up most of their surfaces. The developed fashions hardly differed from one another. Tanjore put a lot of emphasis on gold ornaments and jewelry with gems. Vuyaioor placed a lot of value on the ornamental garland. Paintings with fine details from Mysore. Tanjore art was significantly influenced by establishing the British Garrison in Thanjavur in 1778. Tanjore art is well known for its glossy finish and deep, flat colors. They also use a method called "gold foil," which entails manually sprinkling a layer of minuscule gold, bronze, or brass flakes on top of a painting. For instance, semi-precious stones add light to the painting and highlight different elements. The image has a distinctive glow and enduring shine thanks to genuine Tanjore stones and 22-carat gold. Many independent artists are abandoning traditional Tanjore temple painting methods. 4 Types of Tanjore Paintings Available in the Market Tanjore paintings can be found in the market in four main categories. The problem is that they are all marketed and offered for sale as traditional Tanjore artwork. Traditional The first category consists of traditional Thanjavur paintings created by Thanjavur traditional painters, either from the Raju and Naidu communities, whose ancestors were patrons of the great Nayak dynasty. These artists strictly adhere to conventional techniques and make use of conventional materials. Sadly, their higher costs prevent them from competing in the market, and younger generations are not pursuing this art. Thanjavur has a very small number of them left. Commercial The second group of artists includes those who chose Tanjore painting as a career after spending some time learning from master craftsmen, whether they are second- or first-generation artists. These artists create Tanjore paintings that are classified as "commercial." Most of the time, they don't use conventional materials and are created much more quickly and cheaply. Freelance The third category consists of independent artists who have completed a brief course (now mostly online) and primarily rely on social media for sales. Fake The final one is a collection of largely machine-made and imported "fake" Tanjore paintings. Cost Worthy Tanjore Painting Overview The majority of Tanjore paintings on the market today are primarily "commercial" Tanjore paintings created to make money and satisfy consumer demands. These paintings can be made in a lot less time and with cheaper supplies. They might, however, appear very similar. While the majority of commercial Tanjore paintings use 6mm–8mm plywood, traditional Tanjore paintings use hardwood. The price is cut in half by using plywood, but the canvas board's strength is decreased by a third. The durability of the canvas board directly affects the dependability of the gold relief work. The preparation of the board with PVA wood glue, also known as "Fevicol," is another obvious difference. These boards can typically be created in a single day. Tamarind seed powder has been used in wooden canvas boards for centuries. The type of materials used for relief work, also known as "mugh work," are another less obvious difference. Chalk powder and PVA wood glue, also known as "Fevicol," are frequently used in this type of work. Compared to clay relief work, easy and affordable to source. Factors Affecting Tanjore Paintings Cost Another significant variable that affects the price of Tanjore paintings is the quality of the gold. To create Tanjore paintings, artists can use 18K gold, 22K gold, silver with a gold coating, and imitation gold. The majority of consumers won't be able to distinguish between the two. The artist's abilities, the beauty of the work, or the quality are additional factors that affect price. Traditional drawing techniques, such as smooth round figures, mudras, and almond-shaped eyes, must be used to depict the mudras (hand gestures), face, and especially the eyes. When you want to alter a Tanjore painting to suit your tastes, the price can occasionally go up significantly. Particularly if you want to alter the composition or alter the size of these paintings. Most of the time, changes to the color scheme have no effect on prices. The place where you purchase these paintings is ultimately the most crucial consideration. directly from the artist, via a website, a dealer, or through a gallery or showroom. The cost can vary by 10% to 50% depending on where you purchase it. Use These Factors to Get a Cost-Worthy Tanjore Painting You should be able to estimate a Tanjore painting's value using the factors above when you visit a Tanjore Art Gallery. Sometimes figuring out how valuable a painting is can be difficult. Even with these factors to consider, knowing whether your painting is worth anything can be challenging. Mangala Tanjore Paintings is where you can get a masterpiece Tanjore painting if you want to buy one. Check the website now to know more!