Art of Thangka

What is Thangka Painting and the art of Thangka?

Thangka paintings Are traditional Tibetan paintings – an art of symbolism or a meditative practice aimed at subtle mental transformation, tools for meditators.

The oldest Buddhist Thangka paintings found date back to the 8th century, likely to have evolved from murals in monasteries and shrines on the Silk Road.

Treasured in Tibet for centuries, Thangkas were traditionally painted with distemper on cotton or silk, rolled up like Chinese scroll paintings when not used. The composition of a thangka is highly geometric, using systematic grids of angles and intersecting lines, developing rich, varied Tibetan styles that balance between Indo-Nepalese and Chinese influences.

The typical thangka compositions show a central figure, sometimes flanked by smaller figures or surrounded by halos or flames, seated on lotus seats. The central figure may be a buddha, a bodhisattva, an arhat or an important teacher.  

Each of the paintings here represents a different aspect of the enlightened mind such as compassion, action, regret, health, long life, power and individuality, feminism, determination, hardship and protection from the fear of death.

Green Tara – Jetsun Dolma (Tib.)

Technical note 1

Paintings are printed on Canson® Infinity Edition Etching Rag 310g 100% cotton Fine Art paper. This museum-grade paper provides excellent image sharpness, optimum colour graduation and its unique slight grain makes it ideal for printing detailed work with stability and a resistance to aging.

Technical note 2

The paintings here were painted by a non-Himalayan Buddhist nun, relying on the heritage of Indo-Tibetan art according to traditional iconometric principles and measurements and using mixed techniques.

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