Large Bhagawan Shiva with Devi Parvati Tanjore Painting | Traditional Colors With 24K Gold | Teakwood Frame | Gold & Wood

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A Tanjore painting depicting Bhagwan Shiva and Devi Parvati housed in discrete temple structures. To the left of the viewer is the standing Parvati goddess, with a tall crown and a flat aureole behind Her. These are hallmarks of traditional South Indian iconography. To the right is an abstract Shiva iconography, which is really a lingam with a face painted on it.

The attire and adornment of the deities are done in gold-layered gessowork. The same applies to the body of the ornate temple that houses them. It is the defining feature of Thanjavur art, which has been a Geographical Indication since 2007-08. An authentic, handpicked Thanjavur painting such as this one would be a valuable addition to the home or office of any Indian art lover or devotee.

A tall, slender-stemmed tree distinguishes the temples. Its gossamer-like canopy dances betwixt the studded templetops, resembling the jewel-encrusted templetops of yore. Winged apsaras pour divine offerings down upon them from the heavens. The watery azure background brings out the beauty of the solid gold and maroon in the foreground.

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Item Code: PAA581

Gilded Elegance: Unraveling the Artistry of Tanjore Paintings

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.
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.
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. 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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