Tanjore Painting

Tanjore Painting - IndoVill



 Evolution Of Tanjore Painting

Tanjore Paintings is a famous art that originated from the town of Thanjavur. It is the historical place ruled by Chola, Pandya, Nayak, Marathas and was under British rule till Independence. Tanjore painting is a classical South Indian painting style, The paintings of Tanjore were propagated by the Chola king’s 16th century and were patronized by the Maratha princes, Nayakas of the Vijayanagar empire, Rajus of Tanjore and Tiruchirappalli and the Naidus of Madurai. Most of these paintings revolve around the theme of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, along with saints. Tanjore painting involves numerous stages, such as meticulous laying out, prefect sketching, elegant ornamenting with stones, intricate embossing work and gold foiling the deities and finally the finishing enrichment. Embossing is done with a mixture of raw lime stone powder sieved through the muslin cloth and mixed with chalk powder, glue and copper sulphate in certain proportion. Gold leaves, semi-precious stones and mirrors are used to give it the grand look. It has been recognized as a Geographical indication by the Government of India in 2007-08.

Types of Tanjore Paintings

     1. Chettinad Tanjore paintings

      2. Mysore Tanjore Paintings

 Chettinad Tanjore Paintings:

The dense composition, surface richness and vibrant colours of Indian Tanjore Paintings distinguish them from the other types of paintings. Then, there are embellishments of semi-precious stones, pearls and glass pieces that further add to their appeal. The relief work gives them a three-dimensional effect.

The gold foil is thick and subject is to depict the life of Krishna

Mysore Tanjore Paintings:

It is characterized by delicate lines, intricate brush strokes, graceful delineation of figures and discreet use of bright vegetable colours and lustrous gold leaf. Mysore Painting foil is delicate in nature, and the theme is universal.



Tanjore paintings are known as Palagai Padam as they are typically completed on boards made from jackfruit or teak wood. The use of vibrant colours and gold leaf embellishments are characteristic of Tanjore paintings, with cut glass, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones also used for decoration. 

While artists in the past used vegetable and mineral dyes as natural colours for these artworks, over time, chemical paints have taken over. The dazzling colour palette of Tanjore paintings uses vibrant shades of reds, blues and greens.

Tanjore paintings are characterised by rich and vivid colours, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work and inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems. It is distinguished from other paintings due to gold coating function on paintings, 22 Carat Original Gold Foils, Water Resistant Plywood, Cloth, paints, authentic Jaipur gem stones are used, The gold foil used liberally in Tanjore paintings serves twin purposes it adds glitter to the painting and makes it more attractive and also protects and prolongs the life of the paintings, Tanjore paintings are mostly subjected to Hindu god, goddesses and saints episodes from Hindu relics or religious texts visualized and sketched in the painting. A typical Tanjore Paintings would consist of one main figure, usually a deity, with a well-rounded face, body and oval shaped eyes. The main figure would be enclosed using arches, curtains etc 

Tanjore paintings are subjected to: 

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Hindu Saint Episodes from Hindu Religious Books

Text Visualisation

Sketched paintings

Several other religions such as Jain, Sikh, and Muslim are also  depicted   



 Art Making:

  •  Step1: The wooden board is first softened using glue and emery sheets. 
  •  Step2: The motifs are then sketched out onto the fabric pinned onto the board and these outlines are then finalized by sticking precious and semi-precious gems on these lines. 
  • Step3: The spaces around the gems are then filled with a thin layer of lime or tamarind powder mixed with gum or resin. 
  • Step4: Another thick layer of lime or tamarind powder is then used to create the relief and inlay work. 
  • Step5: The entire painting is then cleaned and refined. 
  • Step6: Next, gold foil is placed onto the stones and the relief work. 
  • Step7: The gold foil is then snipped and tidied to give a finished look to the painting.

The final stage of Painting:  

Now paint the figures and background carefully with poster colours. The painting is normally done using white colour for the key figure and slightly shading it with blue or the normal body colour. The depiction is normally static and the painting does not reflect any action or movement. The usage of the background colours is mostly striking – it is a dark hue of red, blue or green. The paintings are characterized by pillars and curtains in the side, and some smaller compartmentalization at the bottom or top to accommodate small figures.    




Action of Positivity: 

Tanjore paintings is one of the favourite Art of India. Made of rich gold, semi-precious stones they are mostly decorated with the paintings of Gods & Goddesses that brighten up any room. Specially made for pooja room which brings the positivity vibes to your house, it also gives Rich look in your living place, hang it at the wall of entrance so once the door opens this will attract your guest and welcomes them with positive energy.

Painting board is usually done on dark wooden planks so this is suitable for white related light painted walls to highlight your interior design.       



Care and Maintance: 

Tanjore paintings need to preserved by framing them. Keep paintings out of  direct sunlight, because it is possible it to get crack if subjected to bright  sunlight for long periods of time.

Dust your paintings with a clean, soft rag occasionally to prevent dust build-up. Don't use high chemical cleaning products 

Hang your artworks away from very busy and possibly messy areas, do not cover artworks with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, they may start to grow mould. Cotton sheets are best for keeping dust away. 

Try to avoid putting liquid in your glass pieces. Though people usually don't use art glass for this purpose, it can happen. If you do choose to put a liquid into your glass piece, do not leave it in for a long period of time. It may leave a stain or "etch" the surface of the glass. Be warned that putting an extremely hot or cold liquid into your glass may cause it to crack. 

Wash your glass carefully. Strong items can be washed gently in lukewarm water with a bit of gentle dish soap and a soft rag. Air dry, do not immerse it in water. Just wipe gently with a damp cloth. 

The materials used in the paintings are high quality so it can be carried for generations to generations with little care, A gentle wiping and dusting is required to keep the piece as attractive as a new one.                                                                                                                            

Identity for Original:

The gold foil used liberally in Tanjore paintings serves two objectives: the glitter makes the painting more attractive, and it also prolongs the life of the artefact.

Foils made of fake material look similar to genuine gold, making it difficult for consumers to tell the difference.

The researchers found that laser light at 532 nanometre wavelengths used for exciting the foil does not get absorbed if the foil used is made of gold. If the gold used in the foil is in nanometre size, it absorbs the light and has a very broad emission at higher wavelength.                                                                                                                           

Decorative ideas: 

Hanging is the best way to fix paintings make sure to place them in light surface area other than dark surface, not only for house best product to use in hotels, marriage halls, pooja rooms.

In modern times, these paintings have become souvenirs for festive occasions in South India, colourful pieces of art to decorate walls for art lovers. Tanjore Paintings are used to adorn the walls of houses and are even given as a gift to the near and dear ones during auspicious occasions, family gathering and celebrations like such as weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Here we share little ideas to décor Tanjore paintings in your house and other places.  





This kind of painting is known to be popular amongst Women in contemporary India- showcasing their very own artistic sides and inclinations. Dating back to thousands of years, Tanjore painting has been able to survive till due to its uniqueness. Modern day Tanjore Paintings are becoming very much famous all over the world. Tanjore Paintings have become very much inspiring in the modern times. In this hectic world such painting provides peace to those who own them and those who make them. It has become even motivational therapy for peace. With the changing times and eras, the Tanjore paintings have seen transformation in their painting art