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Tanjore Style Painting – Where It all Began

And this is where it all began:

This unbelievable Tanjore painting depicting 63 Nayanars, came to be mine in 2020 through an auction in London.

Estimated to be from the 18th century, the colors were jewel like. And true to Tanjore style, the borders and the top panel were encrusted with emeralds and rubies as confirmed by my jeweller.

BUT … it was too large to keep in my home in Singapore. And so with a heavy heart I had to put it up for sale. And it was acquired by the Indian Heritage Centre in Singapore.

With me, some pieces take on a sentimental life of their own.

And the practical decisions that go against the sentimental decisions, come back to haunt me.

And so in one such moment, it was decided that a trip to Tanjore was necessary – to see the origin of that painting that had captivated my soul.

This led to the trip to Tanjore.

There I saw a few small ones in the museum:

And then I went on to see others in stores – some with age, others recently made – all with the same style.

And finally to a workshop to see some being made:

In 2 days I must have viewed over 250 Tanjore paintings in all.

But none had the subject of the 63 Nayanars like the one that had a grip on my soul….. I could only the see the common Shiva Parvati Ganesh subjects.

And then, when I did not expect to see one like mine …

I discovered this one in the living room of the place I stayed in:

Old. Larger than the one I had. And equally stunning with saturated colors. I suspected that the gold had been overpainted ….

Seeing this right where I stayed, for a very strange reason gave me some solace. Paradise Lost – Paradise found. Well not exactly paradise but at least a bit of my soul was found….and it took away all my heartache of having to part with my Tanjore painting.

None of the paintings in the shops, none of the paintings on the museum walls had this unique subject that I was so curiously attached to. And here it was right in front o me – in my own living quarters.

These little coincidences make no sense to anyone else – but it is through events like these that my experiences feel like they are larger than life!

And if you have been following this journal you have probably seen me make little mountains out of molehills many times.

Is this romanticism? Is this about creating excitement around mere coincidences? or is this real?

We’ll never know.

***

August 2022

jaina mishra

wovensouls.com

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2022 by in Art Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , , , .

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