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Tanjore Paintings

Tanjore paintings are a classical art form that originated in the southern part of India and are named after the town of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Also known as 'Thanjavur paintings', these are easily recognised by their famous gold coating, stones and rich, vivid colours.

Origin & History

Tanjore paintings first originated during the 16th century under the Chola regime. After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, many painters worked under the patronage of the Thanjavur Nayaks. In 1676, the Maratha rulers defeated the Nayaks and established their rule. The Marathas were great supporters of art and literature. Tanjore paintings flourished and developed into the style and art form that we know of today during this time.

Style, motifs & peculiar feature

The distinct traits of Tanjore paintings are the use of vibrant colours, gold leaf embellishments, cut glass and precious or semi-precious stones. All the figures in the paintings have rounded faces with almond-shaped eyes and smooth, streamlined bodies. The main subject is always in the centre and much larger than the other elements. Outlines were usually made with dark brown or red and for background, red, blue or green was used.