Buy Exquisite Kerala Murals and Tanjore Paintings Only on Exotic India

Panchayatana Shiva (Framed)
26.0 inch X 32.5 inch X 2.0 inch
FREE Delivery
Gajendra Moksha (Liberation of Elephant King from the Jaws of Crocodile by Vishnu (Framed)
Lord Vishnu: Preserver of the Cosmos (Framed)
31.5 inch X 22.5 inch X 1.0 inch
FREE Delivery
Shri Ranganatha (Framed)
27.8 inch X 33.8 inch X 1.8 inch
FREE Delivery
More in Paintings
Filter by Material
Filter by Size
Filter by Price
$100 - $4700


Q1. What is the South Indian painting style?

South Indian painting style in all its glory is first displayed in the Chola period murals, which show divine stories from Hindu texts and icons of gods and goddesses powerfully. Over some time, the South Indian painting style crystalized in the form of the world-famous Thanjavur or Tanjore paintings patronized by the Nayakas of Tanjore and Vijayanagara, Mysore painting which was supported by the Mysore kingdom and Kerala murals patronized during the 9th-12th century CE by the royals of Kerala. All these South Indian paintings share a connection with the rich Hindu mythology and follow the rules of the ancient treatise on art and aesthetics to reproduce classical artworks.

Q2. What is special about Kerala mural painting?

Developing in and around the South Indian state of Kerala, the art of Kerala murals dates back to the 9th- 12th century CE. The first evidence of this art form was discovered in the Thirunandikkara cave complex in Tamil Nadu. The vast group of paintings displayed on the walls of the monuments of Kerala receive their inspiration from the ancient Hindu texts- the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas, and adhere to the rules of established textual tradition to Indian art and aesthetics to bring the rich Hindu culture and its legends to life.

Q3. What is the technique of Kerala mural painting?

The Kerala mural paintings can be identified as fresco, which are paintings done on the wall after being plastered with limestone paste. A 16th-century CE text, the Shilparatna, written by Srikumara describes the technique of the Kerala mural in ample detail. After the base for the painting has been prepared with limestone, the artist draws outlines using Shyama or black color, which are then filled with natural dyes prepared from different sources. The painted mural is finished with final ornamental elements.

Q4. How long does paint murals last?

Murals painted on the walls of monuments and religious spaces with natural colors have a decent lifespan of several decades, after which the deterioration of the base and the fading away of colors leads to a discernible loss of aesthetic quality in mural paintings. Contemporary paintings that follow the idiom of Kerala murals while using modern colors have a much longer life.

Q5. What is the purpose of mural painting?

The purpose of a mural painting can be identified from the context in which it is located. On the walls of a royal palace or another such establishment, the role of a mural painting is purely aesthetic, and it is painted to enhance the artistic quality of the architecture. However, as is the case of Kerala murals which are found mostly in the context of religious spaces, the purpose becomes more defined- the paintings serve as an extension of the divine qualities of the Hindu gods and goddesses who reside in a temple and heighten the spiritual experience of Darshana (formal seeing) inside a shrine for a devotee.

Q6. What is the importance of a mural?

The importance of mural painting lies in the fact that it has been the preferred mode of visual narration for societies and people since the beginning of human civilization. Murals serve as a method of telling a story, which can be religious or ritual or it can be related to the everyday life of people. Murals preserve the rich cultural beliefs and artistic inspirations and techniques for the upcoming generations, thus becoming invaluable repositories of culture and history.

Q7. What are the 2 types of murals?

The two broad types of murals are based on the technique which is used in fabricating the plastered base for the painting. The first, known as fresco buon, use wet plaster coating on which colors of the figures are added. As the drying takes place, the plaster makes the pigments adhere to the surface. The second type which is called secco lets the limestone plaster dry before adding paint to the surface. The Kerala murals fall in the second category, which uses two layers- one coarse and the other smooth, of limestone plaster on which natural colors mixed with resin and limestone, are spread using brushes designed from twigs and the hair of animals.

Q8. Which paper is used for mural painting?

Traditional mural paintings began their life from the walls of Hindu temple structures, but in the modern world owing to a huge demand in the art market, a variety of other surfaces have become the canvas for mural paintings. Canvases, illustration boards, and other sturdy papers are used by contemporary mural artists to recreate the charm of antique Indian murals.

Q9. Which color is used for mural painting?

Mural paintings found on the exterior parts of the walls of South Indian temples used natural colors which were obtained by grounding stones of 5 different colors or “Panchavarna” and mixing them with natural binding agents such as raisin to ensure the longevity of the alluring art. In modern times, artists prefer using acrylic colors owing to their vibrant and long-lasting shades that perfectly capture the essence of traditional Kerala murals.

Q10. What is the style of a mural?

Kerala murals are highly stylized and emotive paintings displaying the legends of Hindu religious texts, in which the subjects recreate the dramatic facial expressions of South Indian classical dancers- large, well-defined eyes, arched eyebrows, smiling countenance, along with their elegant postures and are covered in vibrant shades and decorative details. These unmatchable artworks carry an effect of mesmerizing animation and spectacle, a feature that is maintained by modern artists who engage in the task of producing Kerala murals.