Complete Guide to Tanjore Painting – Ancient Art of India

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Have you ever wondered what kind of Art was famous some 2000 years ago in India? Have you seen some fine art made with so much passion and where the art is just poured out of the heart on the cloth?

Yes! That’s Tanjore Art, which is an ancient Indian art, but becoming extinct like our lions and tigers. Very few know about it and the positivity bought to the home with it is enormous. Today in this modern world, we at Madhurya make these Tanjore paintings in order to educate the young Indians the importance and the effect these paintings have on our lives if hung in our homes.

Read & Know the History of Tanjore Paintings.

Let’s start!!!!!

The 1st Tanjore Painting

The first and the oldest known paintings are approximately 40,000 years old. Read more on Evolution of Tanjore Paintings. It was made in Thanjavur ,a city in Tamilnadu, India for the first time and designed using original precious stones and gold foils. The Oil paints used in it bring a bright color and longitivity to the paintings. That’s why the quality of painting remains same for ages.

Ganesha Tanjore Painting
             Ganesha Tanjore Painting

Types of Designs in Tanjore Paintings

Popular designs that are used in tanjore paintings are Chettinad and Mysore designs.

Chettinad Tanjore Paintings: Originated in Thanjavur, city in Tamilnadu. Generally with thick lines, bold colors, appropriate shapes designed keeping in mind the balance of every line of the painting. Appropriate colors are used. No question of “out of shape” painting. Chettinad style is live from around 1600 A.D.

Mysore Tanjore Paintings: Originated in Mysore, a city in Karnataka. These paintings have delicate lines, intricate brush strokes, graceful delineation of figures, mostly of gods and goddesses and the discreet use of bright vegetable colors and lustrous gold leaf make these paintings speak life of 2nd century B.C. to 7th century A.D. specially designed to inspire the feeling of devotion.

Other Paintings: Different varieties of paintings ranging from Basohli, Pichwai, Marble, Miniature, Water colors, Glow paintings, etc are also Indian and needs more attention.

Difference between a Tanjore painting and any other Painting

Tanjore is a unique and very authentic art. It brings a different kind of energy to the house. The artisans use a lot of precious and semi-precious stones and pure gold foils to fill in as ornaments and clothing of the figurines, mostly depicting Hindu Mythological Gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Sarastwati, Parvathi, Krishna, Radha, Ganesha Tanjore Painting , Nataraja and others.

Note: One should be very careful while buying a Tanjore Painting, as seller may cheat you saying the gold used in it is pure or 22 carat gold dust or milk and the stones used are precious but he might use any low quality stones and gold foils.

Extra Note: Real Tanjore Paintings are made using Gold milk not simply gold foils.

Tanjore Paintings in the Modern Times

There are few changes made in these paintings in modern times as the time has changed and the artisans are afraid to continue making these Paintings. Paintings are same but the materials used have been changed a bit according to the modern times.

Making of Tanjore Painting

Every Painting has a different shape and pattern as these are handmade not even a single part is made with the help of machine, specially made in Tamilnadu. Teakwood and Rosewood frame fitting gives a bold look to the painting. Mostly, Jharoka frames are used.

Note: The Standard sizes are: 10*12, 14*18. Elements like Stones, Gold foil, Oil paints are used to give 2D & 3D effect.

Lord Buddha Tanjore Painting
Lord Buddha Tanjore Painting


Tanjore is the dying art of India. Let’s make an effort to continue using this amazing art in our homes. It have a super power to transform the energy in house to positive and depicts Indian Mythology too. Let’s join hands and save this art form.

Happy Shopping for Tanjore Paintings.

Jyothi Tulasi

Jyothi Tulasi

Jyothi is a Senior SEO executive based in Bangalore. She is passionate about Indian Artists and their work.

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