Introduction - Thangkas, Mandalas

Thangkas of lamaistic Buddhism

Thangkas are Tibetan Buddhist (lamaistic) iconographic paintings. They are a form of a religious art,
which has a 1,000 year long tradition, that still carries on today.

The scroll-paintings are first composed on a screen. Traditionally, natural colours are used, but since the beginning of the 20th century, artificial pigments also. Real gold is often used, in order to show respect to the Gods. This has a fantastic aesthetic effect emphasing the beauty of the Thangkas.

The artists often but not always, are monks, who have had a special training in screen paintings (for at least 10 years), because Thangkas have to follow special iconographic and iconometric rules, according to Holy Texts (Tanyur, Kanyur, Nispannayogavali, etc). The guidelines also include the form, the positions of the Gods, their attributes and thrones as well as their dress (monks, princely or wrathful dress).

The paintings serve as sacred works in the monasteries, as help in meditation, bv protection from demons or as votive pictures.

Tibetans love colours. This can be seen by the bright radiating colors in Thangka-paintings. There are traditional colour paintings, and also the so-called red background, black background, blue background and gold background paintings. There are other differences between the portrayal figures and Mandala motifs .

Because the religious art of Lamaism was not only found in Tibet, but spread to many other countries (Mongolia, parts of Siberia and China, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Ladakh), despite the tragic fate of Tibet, this precious form of iconic art has never experienced a significant break. This thangka art lives and continues to develop today. Therefore, even new Thangkas are original and also authentic.

As you can see, that’s why Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas enjoy immense popularity worldwide. Aesthetically, they fit to every room and make for a harmonious atmosphere. In addition, Thangkas radiate positive energy and create a glowing aura.

Yours Snow Lion

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