Art : Tanjore Painting
August 8, 2005
Thanjavur Painting (or Tanjore Painting as it is widely known today) is a medieval form of art that orginated in Tanjore, a town on the banks of Cauvery, in the 1500’s. Most paintings depict Hindu gods and goddesses. A very expensive art, as the colors used in original paintings were natural colors made from vegetables, barks of trees and fruits. Some of the original paintings are preserved to this day in museums. The cost of the paintings are also high because the jewels worn by gods and godesses in the paintings were real precious stones such as Ruby (for red), Diamond (for white), Sapphire (for green) and gold foil used for the throne outline.
I have long wanted to learn this form of painting. Now on a vacation for a month, the longest in 2 years, it seemed like the best time to do. The drawing that I’m doing is shown below in various stages. On completion I will add the real painting as well. The painting that I have started on is a 20*16″ one of Lord Krishna (as a child) sitting on a swing. The sketch is drawn on a board (first pic). The board preparation itself takes 2 days. Once you draw the sktech, you start pasting the stones (pic 2). These stones are not real precious stones. Then sticking the gold paper followed by painting colors and framing. I’m learning it from a person who has been doing it for around 10 years now. The craftsmanship that goes into creating these paintings is tremendous. I’m pretty excited about it as I’m doing identical ones simultaneously. One for myself and another one as a gift to mom!
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