In a Hindu
household, the presence of Sri Ganesha as an idol, painting, or symbol is
intrinsic to the maintenance of auspicious and fortunate energies. This belief
is shared by Hindus across the country, who visualizes Sri Ganesha as the
supreme king in their regional idioms, giving rise to innumerable divine
representations of the elephant-faced Lord. Here we have one of the most
popular forms of Sri Ganesha- four-armed, enthroned, and draped in brilliant
Pitambara (yellow garment) in a Thanjavur painting, beautified with traditional
colors and 24-karat gold. The handmade Sri Ganesha Tanjore painting comes with
a teakwood frame that allows an appropriate placement for the painting which is
both an art piece and a celestial icon.
sits in a pillared hall on a royal throne, with his aura marked by a golden
nimbus and bold red brush strokes that emanate from the halo of his golden
crown. Ganesha’s countenance carries an ethereal childlike innocence and is
adorned by a Tripunda mark on the forehead, a lotus creeper on the trunk, and a
pair of animated eyes. The multitude of gold ornaments highlighted by 24-karat
gold sheets and tiny red and green cut glass pieces cling to the enormous torso
of Sri Ganesha in this Tanjore artwork. Ganesha holds Paasha (noose) and
Ankusha (goad) in his secondary hands while carrying a bowl of modaka (sweets)
and the gesture of fearlessness in his primary hands. This roopa of the
elephant-faced Hindu deity whose trunk is curving to the right is seen as a
highly propitious form of Sri Ganesha, bringing which to your space eradicates
all Vastu-related troubles and casts Ganesha’s benevolent gaze on your life.
Attention to detail in this stunning Tanjore
Sri Ganesha painting is visible in the manner in which Ganesha’s attire is
marked, with fine dark lines underlining the folds and shades of red which are
added to his skin to bring a true-to-life effect in the artwork. Bright and contrasting shades create a
vibrant and divine image of Sri Ganesha which will instill in your home the
enriching presence of the Prathama-pujya (first worshipped) God.
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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