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Timeless Tanjore | Eternal beauty of the golden artform

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

April 10, 2021 | by Ar. Prachita Passi, Creative head


The early 14th century was a golden era, the era where art and architecture came together and stood like pillars for Indian history & culture. Under the Vijayanagara empire we found the timeless beauty of Tanjore. The art that once started on murals soon evolved and transformed under the Maratha rule. Tanjore or Thanjavur is a classical south Indian artform that originated from the town of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. It has established itself as one of the richest, exquisite and most extravagant artform carving a special place in every artist and art lover.

An artform so beautiful and alluring that it saw its decline in the past few years. Tanjore paintings were taken for granted and were shelved in corners. Over the years it went through a huge change in terms of quality and genuineness, with numerous people making these paintings, we see poor imitations of this rich artform. Hasth By Punita Marwah Passi makes sure to remain as close as possible to the tradition as well as conglomerating different art styles to make something neoteric.

We, at Hasth make each of these sacred paintings with love and devotion. The essence of our paintings exudes finesse and charm where one can be captivated by its beauty. All our paintings are handmade with purity and dedication, the aura of our artwork will radiate positivity and good energy around you. - Punita Marwah Passi, founder of Hasth

Punita Marwah Passi, Founder

TANJORE IN MAKING | A brief on how it's done

Let's explore how this rich artform is curated. Before starting any artwork one should have a vision; a concept that the artwork would represent. We make sure our paintings reflect strong concepts and even stronger association to different themes, culture and entities. Visualizing a look and feel for these sacred paintings is a must but also remember your artwork speaks about your aura too. So make these paintings with utmost devotion.

I. We generally start by preparing the base for the painting. We make our own canvas where the cloth (good quality) is glued to a wooden plank. Let it dry for good 24 hours before starting anything. This is an important step. To know more you can register yourself with our masterclasses which are done on one to one basis or you can either contact us

II. After preparing the base we visualize and study the canvas area, like how the area has to be allotted or what will come where so that harmony is achieved. We then draw with light pressure figure on the canvas for our next step which is the cone work

III. Cone work or gesso work is one important step that will test your patience and passion. Our focus is on being as traditional as possible so we use only natural (organic) material for the gesso work. The gesso works as a binding (glue) matter for the stones that are embossed in it. In the below video we give you a small glimpse of our cone work. The gesso is applied on the areas that we would want to cover with gold like borders, crowns, clothes or even all over. To know how we make it register yourself with us for masterclasses or contact us for further information

IV. The major or big stones are embossed during cone work whereas some are added later. We meticulously select our stones to match with the colour palette. A variety of stones are used to highlight features of the paintings therefore the quality of stones matter a lot. From kudan stones, to Jaipur stones, from AD stones (American Diamond) to semi precious stones ( on special request ). We customize according to the client's need and budget. We do not use low grade or inferior quality stones in any case.

V. Once we're done with our gesso(cone) work and its dry we start by applying 24-22kt gold on our paintings. We only use certified gold. The gold is then overlaid on the cone(gesso) work and is done with utmost care. The excess that falls on the base is cleared with tools. Below is a picture of how one of our paintings looked during overlaying of Gold.

VI. After we've overlaid the gold on gesso work we paint. The colour palette we choose depends on the theme and concept decided during the first step. It should be in harmony so as to enhance the figure and features of the deity. For eg, we give bold vibrant colours to background of the paintings which enhances the gold.

VII. Once we're done with the painting part, we give final touches like enhancing or defining some features, painting the area that was scraped off during gold overlaying or just adding some stones as shown below, where you can see how we're adding stones to give our piece a final touch.

VIII. The end result you get will always blow your mind. The journey to the end will be always fruitful because it represents devotion, purity, dedication and ones patience.

These paintings take months time or sometimes even more than that. It all depends on the level of detail one gives. For us details matter a lot we try to incorporate different and unique patterns that are intricate. In this beautiful art of ornamentation we get the privilege to shower and adorn the Gods & Goddesses. Timeless tanjore edition at Hasth by Punita Marwah Passi, exudes grandeur, extravagance, elegance and finesse. Elevate your home and let your walls speak with our exquisite one of a kind paintings.


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