Art And Culture
Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.
Thanjavur Painting is a classical South Indian painting style, which was inaugurated in the town of Thanjavur (anglicized as Tanjore) and spread across the adjoining and geographically contiguous Tamil places. The art form originated around 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. It is distinguished by its famous gold leaf coating.
Thanjavur paintings are characterized by rich and vivid colors, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso (a mix of chalk and gypsum) work, and inlay of glass beads and semi-precious and very rarely precious gems. Incidents or portraits from Hindu History are depicted in it.