Ardhanarishvara Tanjore Painting | Traditional Colors With 24K Gold | Teakwood Frame | Gold & Wood | Handmade | Made In India

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Ardhanarishvara is a blend of three Sanskrit words: Ardha meaning “Half”, “Nari meaning “female” and Ishvara meaning “Lord”. Thus, Ardhanarishvara i.e. “The Half-female Lord” is the combined form of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati where the Lord represents the Purusha aspect and the Goddess represents Prakriti. Just as heat cannot be separated from the fire, likewise, Prakriti being the energy and Purusha being the energetic, both are inseparable from each other. Thus, Lord Shiva and his power, Goddess Parvati are impossible to separate. 

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Item Code: PAA296
Dimensions 18 inch x 15 inch x 2 inch (With Frame)
14 inch x 11 inch (Without Frame)
Weight: 2.71 kg
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Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

In this painting, the Ardhanarishvara form of Lord Shiva is depicted as half-male and half-female equally split from the middle. The right illustrates the attributes of Lord Shiva. His matted hair makes a huge crown on his head, from which pours down the water of Holy Ganga and also holds crescent moon on it. A third eye can be seen on his forehead. He has a broad chest, a strong shoulder, and a muscular thigh and calf. Wearing tiger’s skin down his waist, he holds an axe with his upper hand, while the other hand rests on the head of his loyal mount Nandi, the sacred bull, who stands next to his master to serve him at any moment. The left half illustrates the merciful Goddess Parvati who is attired in a silk saree. She has a more curvaceous waist and is adorned with a huge crown on her head, a nose ring, a long neck piece and a bindi on her forehead that completes her Shringaar. She holds a lotus in her upper hand, while the lower hand is in a resting posture. Here, the amalgamation of masculine and feminine energies is depicted artistically. The molten gold complexion of Goddess Parvati, also known as Gauri, has been given to the Lord Shiva, and His blue complexion has been given to the Goddess. 

How are Tanjore paintings made?

Tanjore painting is a traditional form of art in the South Indian style and was started by the inhabitants of a small town known as Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu. This gives it another name called “Thanjavur painting”. This painting draws its figures, designs, and inspiration from the time when Vedic culture was prevalent in India. Certain remarkable features of a Tanjore painting distinguish it from other paintings. Some of these are pure gold or gold foil coating on gesso work, the use of rich and vivid colors, and the inlay of cut-glass or semi-precious and precious stones. The subjects of most of the Tanjore paintings are Hindu Gods, Goddesses, and saints. The main devotional figure is portrayed in the central portion of the painting and is usually surrounded by various secondary figures.

The process of making a Tanjore painting

The classic Tanjore paintings are done on wooden planks and hence are also referred to as Palagai Padam in South India (Palagai = Wooden plank, Padam = Picture). Creating a masterpiece is never an easy task but the skilled artists of Thanjavur have been following the tradition of making timeless Tanjore paintings for decades.

The making process begins with preparing the wooden board or canvas. The size of the board depends upon the choice of the patron. The next step is to paste cardboard over the wooden board and then a cotton fabric is stretched and pasted upon it using Arabic gum.

Tanjore Painting Wooden Base

Now that the cloth is attached to the wooden panel, a rough sketch of the motifs and figure is drawn onto the fabric. After this, a paste of chalk powder and water-soluble adhesive is evenly applied over the base and smoothed.

Sketching of Tanjore Painting

Thereafter, the outlines which were made or traced using a stencil are now ready to be beautified and decked with various add-ons. The usual materials for decoration are cut-glass, pearls, semi-precious and precious gems, gold leaf, and laces. 22 or 18 Karat Gold leaves and gems of varied hues are especially inlaid in areas like pillars, arches, walls, thrones, and dresses.

Gold Inlay work on painting

In the final step, the rest of the painting is filled with rich and striking colors such as shades of red, blue, and green. Formerly, the artists used natural colors like vegetable and mineral dyes instead of chemical paints. The entire painting is then cleaned and refined to give a flawless finished look.

Since the making of a single piece of Tanjore painting requires a complex and elaborate process, the artists usually take at least one or two months to complete it. The use of pure gold foil and gems for beautification is a characteristic of an authentic Tanjore painting. Due to this, Tanjore paintings last for generations without getting tarnished and are much more expensive than general paintings. Though the art form has undergone various changes and technique modifications over the years, it continues to attract the hearts of art lovers.

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