Tamil Nadu is a land most known for its monumental ancient Hindu temples and classical form of dance Bharata Natyam. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art and architecture.
Thanjavur paintings are rooted in tradition and known for their surface richness, vivid colors, compact composition and the glittering gold foils which are used to give the paintings their rich look. The paintings are notable for their adornment in the form of semi-precious stones, pearls, glass pieces and gold. The rich vibrant colors, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine artistic work are characteristics of these paintings. The paintings have a decorative intent- the paintings being gilded with gold leaf and sparkling stones, used to highlight aspects like ornaments, dresses and architectural elements. Traditionally, Thanjavur painting refers to Pallagai padam which denotes to paintings done on plank-coated cloth in which a wooden board is pasted with cloth, and an outline sketch is drawn.