Tanjore Painting, an Immortal Art

Tanjore Painting, an Immortal Art

 The origin of Tanjore painting can be traced back to the 16th century during the Nayak and the Maratha rule. It is an immortal art because even after so many decades its popularity has not declined. In fact, it is even more popular today and is bought by people to decorate their modern homes and offices.

Kudos to the artists who keep the art alive

Tanjore paintings were considered as the divine forms of expressions of adoration and love for God since they were meant for palaces and temples and were also supposed to express beauty and truth. Most of the olden day painters who kept this beautiful form of art alive were totally devoted artists from Tamil Nadu. They managed to bring about new innovations into it without taking way the basic essence from it or distorting it.

The artists who hail from its place of origin and practice this art to this day are the true inheritors of Tanjore paintings. They are fully satisfied with what they do to enrich our cultural heritage and make this art immortal even though they have not grown rich in financial terms.

Some of these artists have been actively involved in this art form since six generations and that shows single minded determination and dedication they have in keeping the art alive. These artists lead a simple life sans any luxury despite the fact that their art works fetch lakhs of rupees in the market. Most of the money goes into the hands of the middlemen, who pay the artistes a bare minimum.  

Technique & style 

Even after all these years, the techniques used to make Tanjore paintings remain more or less the same. However, its stylization has undergone a few changes.

Despite its popularity and sacredness, there is no school in India which teaches this particular form of art to this day, to carry it forward to the future generations. The skills involved in this form of painting greatly remain the personal property of the individual artists. 

Taking Tanjore paintings to a wider audience

Apart from the master craftsmen who have devoted their lives for this art, a few other artists who are very much interested in this art are taking an effort to learn this on their own and practice it.

These artists have added modern mix of thoughts and innovation and have taken Tanjore paintings to a wider audience all over the country and even abroad.

Thanks to the efforts taken by these artists, Tanjore paintings have become a blend of old and new thoughts. It is no longer the symbol of traditional paintings. These modern touches have made these paintings richer. 

They still look antique and sacred despite modern touches

Today, the colours used in Tanjore paintings are a little more subdued instead of being loud or dazzling. The proportions of the deities are not very rounded and are more realistic and pleasing to the eye. These stylisations have made these paintings even more beautiful. However, they still look antique and sacred. And that is the beauty of this classical art.

These brilliant paintings have a pride of place in many art galleries in India as well as in foreign countries.