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Sree Chitra Art Gallery

Sree Chitra Art Gallery, also known as the Sri Chitralayam is located in Thiruvananthapuram. The gallery exhibits precious collection of paintings by the royals. The Sree Chitra Art Gallery features a varied collection of classic and modern paintings, and has approximately 1100 paintings. You can see the display of works from the Mughal, Rajput, Bengal, Rajasthan and Tanjore schools of Art. The art gallery also has an oriental collection of paintings as well from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali, offering a visual treat to the art lovers.

About the Gallery
The Sree Chitra Art Gallery has 15 original works by the Roerichs, and 43 original works by Raja Ravi Varma. Ravi Varma's rare pencil sketches are also displayed at the gallery. The palace originally had over 70 Ravi Varma paintings, but some of them are not on display at the art gallery due to space constraints. In 2010, the gallery was closed for renovation after a fire broke out due to short circuit.

Various forms of painting on display
Tanjore Painting – Tanjore Painting are the classical painting style, which are famed for their surface richness, vivid colours and compact compositions. Most of these paintings are of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and saints. An interesting part about these paintings is that once the drawing is made, decoration of the jewellery and the apparels is done with semiprecious stones. Laces or threads are also used to decorate the jewellery.

Tibetan Thanga – These are painted or embroidered Buddhist banners carried by monks in ceremonial processions. In Tibetan language, thanga means flat, and thus the Thanga is a kind of painting done on flat surface and rolled up when not required for display.

Mughal Painting – This is most popular style of ancient Indian painting, and is generally confined to miniatures either as book illustrations or as single works to be kept in albums. This painting was emerged from the Persian miniature style and developed during the Mughal period with Indian influences.

Rajastani Painting – This was developed mainly in Rajasthan, and is different from the Mughal painting. It has bolder use of colour, stylized depiction of the human figure and ornamental treatment of landscape. The subjects in these paintings are the legends of Lord Krishna and Radha.

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