History of the Art.

Tanjore or Thanjavur as it is called today acquired its name from the ancient pronunciation of the
place, which was then called "Thanjavoor". It was then the capital of the mighty Chola Empire.
The Chola rulers besides being great warriors were builders of magnificent temples and great patrons
of arts. It was against this setting that this highly specialised form of art with its characteristically
beautiful ornamental relief work flourished.

The Tanjore School of Paintings dates back to the 16th century.


The paintings are mostly of Gods and Goddesses because this art of painting flourished at a time
when fine-looking and striking temples were being constructed by rulers of several dynasties.
The figures in these paintings are large and the faces are round and divine. However, with the rebirth
of this art in the  20th century, artists in addition to recreating the original Tanjore figures are also
experimenting with more proportioned figures, birds, flowers, animals, etc.

The paintings are notable for their adornment in the form of semi-precious stones, pearls, glass
pieces and gold. The rich vibrant colours, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine artistic work
are characteristics of these paintings.
They add beauty and culture to a variety of surroundings and decor.