face of Shri Krishna is itself an elixir for those who have devoted their
entire life unto His lotus feet. The Supreme Lord Krishna descended on the earth
to engage His beloved devotees in His transcendental pastimes full of bliss and
mercy. All the inhabitants of the holy land of Braja loved Him with all their
heart and Krishna being the source of all pleasure, gave them the highest form
of pleasure in return. This is the magical exchange of pure love between Bhakta
calmly the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna is sitting on a throne
surrounded by three beautifully dressed damsels (gopis). The Lord appears very
attractive as He enjoys the loving devotional service from the gopis. The
essence of transcendental bliss can be experienced just by merely looking at this
mesmerizing painting. Lord Krishna being All-Attractive is clad in a
short-length dhoti and elaborately adorned with several ornaments on His
self-effulgent body. His bodily features are very enchanting for everyone to
see and whoever meditates upon them certainly achieves the highest form of
pleasure. Krishna loved to steal and eat butter from the houses of gopis in
Vrindavan and thus was called by the name Makhan chor. Here, He can be seen
holding a butterball in one of His hands and is ready to gulp it down at any
moment. Seeing Him enjoying, the gopis also enjoy the pleasure of their Lord.
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 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
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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