Thanjavur Paintings

Timeless Tanjore Art

Culture is a dynamic force that complements the life pattern of a society. It reflects the procession of time and the crisscross patterns of migratory influences in arts and other progressions of life.

Ancient Tamil Nadu, in the Southern part of India, comprised of three kingdoms, the Chera, the Chola and the Pandya.  The Chera kingdom roughly corresponds to the area of the present Kerala state, the Chola corresponds to the northern area of Tamil Nadu and the Pandya to the southern area of Tamil Nadu.

Chola kingdom, its capital Thanjavur can be called the gift of Cauvery. The word Thanjavur reflects the meaning of “a place of refuge” (thanjam) in Tamil. The land of Tanjore has been a background of mythology, the God of Wealth, Kubera ruled from this place.

During the reign of Rajaraja Cholan, many sculptors and painters from Andhra came to Tanjore. The Vaishnavite element in paintings entered the “chitrakootam”. The walls of the Ramaswamy temple at Kumbakonam were painted with Ramayana episode and the Ramar Pattabhishekam scene painted there was adopted for Tanjore Painting by the Andhra painters.

The painting artists of Tanjore were of Telugu speaking origin. There are two main communities of these families, Rajus in Thanjavur and Trichy and Nayudus in Madurai. Both are from Andhra area and they came down to Thanjavur and Madurai in search of patronage after the disintegration of the Vijayanagar Empire. F.R. Hemingray in Madras district gazette, Madras 1906, reports, “some good painting is done at Tanjore by men of Raju caste. They paint on wooden tablets or on cloth made beautifully smooth with a paste of powder and gum and their drawing is correct and the tints employed are astonishingly delicate and even”. This is a reference to early Tanjore Painting artists of Tanjore.

Timelessness is one of those words that floats around blissfully, it is a quality that we generally assume “great art” to have, while lesser works of art do not.

Quoting an essay, “Great art always has two qualities with relation to temporality. It is of its moment – any art cannot help but be shaped by the realities of the era, but great art also reflects and shapes its moment, and does so in a different manner than equally great art of an earlier era. It is timely. Simultaneously, great art transcends its moment, it communicates powerfully well after its creation. It is timeless.

At, we strive to make every painting timeless. Our focus on high quality materials, such as water-proof, termite-proof, kit-ply wooden base, original 22 carat gold foil, 100% authentic Jaipur gemstones and pigments for painting ensure that your Tanjore Painting will stand the test of time. Divine subjects also demand that the painting be of a beautiful, admirable nature, and we ensure that every painting of ours evokes devotion and steals the hearts of onlookers.

Please visit our online Tanjore Painting store to view our collection.

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