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How are Traditional Tanjore Paintings Made?

How are Traditional Tanjore Paintings Made

Traditional Tanjore Paintings will remain evergreen in the history of Indian traditional art. One of the reasons is the way they are crafted. The history of a Thanjavur painting is as fascinating as the painting itself. This Indian traditional art has its roots in the South Indian city of Tanjore, the temple town of South India located in Tamil Nadu. Little did its creators realize that the traditional Tanjore paintings would be talked about even after several years after they were gone.

What is the origin of the traditional Tanjore paintings?

The origin of the traditional Tanjore paintings can be traced back to 1600 AD. During this time, the Vijayanagara Rayas ruled the Nayakas of Thanjavur. The rulers were fond of art, so they encouraged the various forms of art primarily, dance and music. The Vijayanagara Rayas also treasured literature and paintings of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and subjects that had religious importance for the Hindus. However, according to historians, we are made to believe that the traditional Tanjore paintings that we cherish today originated from the Maratha court of Thanjavur, from anywhere between 1676 and 1855.

How are traditional Tanjore paintings made?

Now that we know the origin of this Indian traditional art form let us understand how traditional Tanjore paintings are made. Of the various gems that the Tanjore town boasts of, traditional Tanjore paintings take center stage. The unique way the 3D effect is created in every painting created even today. And this is one of the reasons why the traditional Tanjore paintings stand out, even in the modern era.


Making of the magnum opus

The first step in making a traditional Tanjore painting is working on the canvas. A majority of traditional Tanjore paintings have canvas as their base. Thus, as the primary step, the artist makes the base, canvas ready. Most painters use a white muslin cloth as the base for the painting. On the canvas, the outline is drawn.

Next, the canvas must be stuck on a wooden plank. A paste is used to stick the canvas base onto the plank. For the paste, chalk or zinc oxide dust is mixed. Arabic glue is mixed with an adhesive, and the paste is made. The paste is used to stick the base onto the wooden plank. In several literature pieces written in the vernacular language, the traditional Tanjore paintings are more often referred to as 'palagai padam', which means 'wooden plank picture' when translated into English. In the early days, the wooden plank was either Jackfruit or teak. However, the traditional Tanjore paintings use cost-effective and pocket-friendly substances instead of Jackfruit or teak in modern times.

The gesso work is achieved, and then the artist begins to work on the primary areas of the subject. Gems of different colors and sizes, precious and semi-precious stones and gold leaves are used. It is followed by the application of hues to the sketched subject. While creating a traditional Tanjore painting, the artists used only natural colors, including vegetable dyes. However, with the changing times, chemical paints to create a Thanjavur painting are used. It works out to be a pocket-friendly alternative.

The final step in creating a traditional Tanjore painting is the framing. The frames that were used in the traditional days are different from the ones that are used today. The artist selects the frame that goes hand-in-hand with the subject of the painting. This tradition adheres to even today while creating a traditional Tanjore painting.

It may be recalled that in ancient days, the Indian traditional art decorated the palace of the land's rulers. Despite the minor change in the method they are created, the Tanjore painting God photos are considered necessary even today. Thus, we can find artists creating important images or scenes of spiritual importance to the Hindus in public and private places of worship.

Purchasing and owning traditional Tanjore paintings

The traditional Tanjore paintings are an art collector's delight. For the average person, the Indian traditional art paintings are a thing of sheer beauty, Thanks to the internet's luxury, and one can purchase a Tanjore painting online. Mangala Arts is the one-stop solution to purchase a Tanjore painting of your choice. If you wish to catch a glimpse of the Tanjore paintings of the bygone era, you must visit the Tamil Tanjore art gallery.

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