Thangkas

Thangkas

Thangkas : Art from the Himalayas by the Buddhists

Thangka or THAN-KA is Tibetan for Painted-Scroll, descended of the Pauba Art. They are painted on cotton canvas, using iconography based on ancient texts. Each one of the Thangkas in the gallery below is a unique example of the beauty involved in the process of creating a Thangka.

Thangkas are a Buddhist Art, and therefore abides by strict rules, that are written in ancient texts and passed down from generation to generation. A great amount of study is also required to paint a Thangka, each ornament, posture and attribute represents a particular aspect of Buddhism and its teachings.

Introduction to Buddhist Art:

There is a large amount skill involved when painting a Thangka, the very first step in any Thangka is to prepare the canvas. Once that has been done, the artist will begin to sketch the motif that he has decided to paint, he will then apply the colour, then the shading and finally the gold. Most of the Thangkas that are available for purchase are painted with real gold, unless clearly stated you can safely assume that it is gold paint.

The final and most important step in how to paint a Thangka is the painting of the facial features. This is often left to the 'Guru' or 'Master' as it is considered the most sacred part of the Thangka.

There are many ways to choose a Thangka, color, motif, deity and sometimes just because you like it! The prices of the Thangkas depend for the most part on the time taken for the painting to be completed, and the quality of the pigments. Each painting is unique, and also tells a unique story.

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