Tanjore Painting is a classical South Indian painting style, which was inaugurated from the town of Thanjavur (anglicized as Tanjore) and spread across the adjoining and geographically contiguous Tamil country. The art form draws its immediate resources and inspiration from way back about 1600 AD, a period when the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the suzerainty of the Vijayanagara Rayas encouraged art?chiefly, classical dance and music?as well as literature, both in Telugu and Tamil and painting of chiefly Hindu religious subjects in temples. However, it can safely be surmised that Thanjavur painting, as we know it now, originated in the Maratha court of Thanjavur (1676 - 1855)
Thanjavur paintings are characterised by rich, flat and vivid colors, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work and inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems. In Thanjavur paintings one can see the influence of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha and even European or Company styles of painting. Thanjavur paintings were made in various sizes depending upon the function, the subject and the choice of the patron. Large paintings of deities and the Maratha rulers, their courtiers and nobility, were painted and installed to serve as architectural accents in the Maratha palaces and buildings.
Paintings in addition to being done on canvas, were also done on walls, wooden panel, glass, paper, mica and exotic media such as ivory. Small Ivory portraits were typically worn as cameo pendants called rajaharam and were quite popular.
Beginners must keep in mind before they begin to learn the Tanjore art is that the fundamental Art work starts here where we draw the outline of the Subject we intend to do, from here concentration and dedication is needed to get magnificent Painting outlook which one can imbibe over training and practice under a professional trainer. The outline of the painting is drawn after which stone work marking is done.