Tanjore paintings, made from Gold and also known as “Tanjore Oviyam”, are a major form of classical South Indian painting from the town of Thanjavur, also called Tanjore in English, in Tamil Nadu, India.
The Paintings of Thanjavur have travelled a long way from the Fresco Paintings of Temples of the Chola Dynasty to the wall hangings of today. Most of the great living Chola temples, which are also UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur – foremost among these being the Brihadeeswara Temple.
Tanjore paintings are known for glittering gold used to give the painting their rich look, their vivid coloures, compact composition and surface richness.
Thanjavur paintings define its iconic style; where knowledge is through images and pictures. Themes are mainly Vaishnavite like depictions of Hindu gods Krishna and Vishnu and coronation of Rama, the Human king and incarnation of the supreme Hindu God, and are from old Hindu epics of Ramayan and Bhagavad Purana.
In Tanjore Paintings, 22-24 carat gold, bright colour paints – mainly Red, Green and Deep Blue, semi-precious stones and American diamonds are used to decorate the subject. The paintings are framed in traditional Chettinad style teakwood frames.
Thanjavur painting is a complete hand work of an artist’s imagination, skill, hard-work and patience. One painting takes 3-6 weeks to complete depending upon the size.