Tanjore painting is one of the most popular and refined classical paintings from South India. Above all , it originated under the rule of Marathas in the 16th century. For instance, the painting is native to Thanjavur or Tanjore, a city in Tamil Nadu.
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What is Tanjore Painting?
The concentrated composition, the use of gold foil and semi-precious stones is very distinctive. A typical Tanjore painting is principally inspired by religion and centers around Hindu gods and goddesses.
An introductory sketch of the image is drawn on a cloth and is one of the first steps in the making of a Tanjore Painting. For example, the cloth is pasted over a wooden base. Later, chalk powder or zinc oxide is mingled with water-soluble adhesive and applied on the base. In the next few steps, the drawing is embellished with gold foil, glass pieces and precious or semi-precious stones.
For instance, it is a common practice to apply wafer thin sheets of gold on some parts of the painting, while giving a bright touch to other parts of the painting. Artists predominantly use dark brown for outlines. Red is used for background as a distinctive mark of Tanjore paintings. However, as a traditional practice, the blue colour is employed for Lord Vishnu and white for Lord Natarajan.