Art depicts the way the man lived over civilizations. It represents the way the mankind focused on its thoughts, actions and activities in this earth. Ancient era denotes a widely appreciated stone art and sculptures that lured the walls of caves, temples, rock forts and the big mandaps (Halls) which the kings and queens of the olden days appreciated, encouraged and thrived to develop by all means. These art forms created history and gave us an biggest cult to understand our evolution over various time periods. One such great art form that had its own sophistication, richness and embodiment of its very existence is the Tanjore Paintings. The roots of the tanjore art goes to the historical relevance's of 18th century where India was noted across the world for this indigenous art form that flourished during Gupta and Chola empires.
Thanjavur paintings which emerged in the capital of Gupta empire Tanjore which is around 350 kms away from Chennai, India, showcased the cultural evolvement during those days. Tanjore paintings mainly depict the various forms of Hindu gods and goddesses, providing a significance to each of the incarnations that are believed by the Hindu followers. The paintings are a treat to eyes with an visual amalgamation of art and craft by using wooden boards, gold foils, silver linings, various beads and gem stones, to bring the richness of the Hindu incarnations into life. Glass, stones, cloth, limestone, precious and semi-precious stones, smooth stones, glue from neem trees, gold foils, and ornamental accessories are all used to embellishing the canvas and the pencil sketch over it to make a beginning to a marvellous art piece. The various gem stones used make the paintings shine with the three dimensional effects. These priceless treasures are saved for generations in the homes of Indian households. These pieces of art are given as a timeless property to our future generations. Today, lot of experimentation is being done in this art form bringing in various other pictorial representations of nature and times, that show a change in the way the art is explored. The paintings today decorate the affluent homes, corporate offices and also in many places of business. The art is no where confined to the rich people alone. It all takes a genuine interest, a quest to bring in something new and refreshing and explore the new possibilities to make this art survive and enrich over the period of times. The historical golden era still continues as far as Indian art is concerned and Tanjore Paintings perhaps holds the mantle of success to its creators.
To me, in particular, this art form will be cherished for ever. I would take this up as my retirement plan when I have time and resources to sit and put my imagination to action. Thanks to my friend Sudha who presented me my first ever owned Vinayakar Tanjore painting which made a beginning to my collection of these paintings. Wanna do few of my own and pass on to my future generations, the treasure of art that glorify the Indian imagination from the times immemorial. Keep imagining and keep the art alive!!