Thanjavur may be considered the heart of Tamil Nadu with a civilization that had reached great eminence under the successive dynasities of chola, Nayak and Maratha Kingdoms in thanjavur. If played important role in attracting talent nad in keeping alive a creative tradition through many centuries. It was also a centre that disseminatedideas and styles. Thanjavur having been a vijayanagar principality during the days of that empire. Telugu kings were patrons to art and literature. Many scholars, pandits, artists and other experts wre migrated to Thajnavur from vijaya nagar kingdom. Besides Andhra contribution , a new addition to Thajavur culture was that made by traditional culture. The religious life of the people centred round their great temples and in the daily worship festivals and industries.
Thanjavur was also famous for its highly advanced handicraft industries. Describing the city a British Officer Heming Way, Writing in 1906 states Tanjore was known as the home of the fine-arts under the native rulers who lay their patronage attracted to their capital, the produces of most articles of luxury. The Tanjore brass work is deservedly famous and its ornamental pits work and musical instruments are said to be unique. Hemig way also reports. There are still a number of families, who like painting pictures. Thanjavur school of painting may roughly be assigned to such a period in southern India. It can be considered as the final expression of a traditional society before alien culture., indeed some extraneous elements had already introduced into that traditional society but the art itself belonged to an older way of life which had not changed.
The term Thajavur or Tanjore Painting refers to certain styles of painting which reached a characteristic form in the Thajavur area during the Maratha period. The use of the name of the state may be considered arbitrary. Since the style or its sister variations occur also in Mysore and Andra either contemporaneously or perhaps even earlier that in Thajavur itself. They paint on wooden tablets or on cloths made beautifully smoothed with a paste of powder and gum and their drawing is correct and the tints employed astonishingly dedicate and even. But the designs are seemingly to the Hindu Gods or Heros and the finished pictures are grotesquely adorned with sparkling stones or pieces of metal.
Paintings with Photos
Thanjavur painting is dominated by the iconic style. It might not be out of place to consider general nature of icons. The iconic paintings are generally on wooden panels a single sheet of wood of the sack free is preferred. The pictures are called in Tamil “PalagaiPadam”. ie picture on wood. Paintings of this type can also be very large. Sometimes they are on a monumental scale. A sheet of card board is pasted with gum made of Tamarind seed to the wood base. Over the card board, one or two layer of cloths are pasted. The cloth is ten coated with white made of lime. After several coats of white are applied, the surface is smoothened by rubbing with a polished stone or shell. On this prepared surface the drawing is executed with the brush, the indications of all the details including the places where the gems are to be set. On the areas where gold or gems are to be placed.
The gold work on Thajavur painting is of two distinct varieties. The finer work is the application of pure gold leaf to the surface of the painting. This gold leaf is generally of superior quality and retain it brilliance. Gold sheet is pasted on the painting with gum and rubbed with smooth stone. The other principle kinds is the embossed variety, where the surface of the painting is raised in certain areas and the gold coloured paper is applied to the surface. Traditional Arts Kalaimani T. Venkatesewara Raa Master Craftsman, doing the Temple Art works, Tanjore Picture Painting works, Colour Mirror, handicraft Articles manufacture. East Main Street Thanajvur.