Tanjore Paintings – Interesting Facts

India has an elite culture and diverse heritage which has been evolved from the Indus valley civilization. Indian Art and culture remains a challenging topic for many UPSC IAS aspirants. There will be a combination of questions from Art and culture, Ancient India, Medieval India, and Current affairs. The old NCERT books of Ancient and Medieval India is the elementary as well as an indispensable reference book for UPSC IAS prelims exam. 

Art and culture is an important segment in UPSC IAS Exam. The topics of art and culture segment have a relation between the history of India. UPSC has asked a substantial amount of questions from art and culture and history for UPSC IAS Prelims exam. In this regard, we are giving some important topics on art and culture. Here we are discussing the Tanjore paintings.

  • Tanjore Painting of India devised during the 16th century, under the sovereignty of the Cholas.
  • Rajus societies of Tanjore, and Naidus of Madurai also supported Tanjore Painting from 16th to the 18th century. 
  • It is one of the popular forms of classical South Indian painting.
  • It is the native art form of Tanjore city of Tamil Nadu. 
  • They are locally known as ‘Palagai Padam’ as it is mainly done on solid wood planks.
  • The theme of Tanjore Painting of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, along with saints. 
  • The solid composition, surface richness and vibrant colors is the specialty of this paintings 
  • These painting use embellishments of semi-precious stones, pearls and glass pieces to make the painting attractive. The relief work provides them a three-dimensional effect.
  • The main character is always painted in the middle of the painting.
  • Artists usually give a three-dimensional effect to the pictures.
  • The first step among the numerous steps in the making of the painting involves drawing of the preliminary sketch of the image on the base. 
  • The base of the Tanjore painting is made up of a cloth and is pasted over a wooden base.
  • The painting uses a mixture of chalk powder or zinc oxide with water-soluble adhesive to spread on the base. 
  • Thereafter, the picture is drawn sand decorated with the diamond, lace, thread, cut glass, pearls and even semi-precious stones. 


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