Short History of Thangka & Paubhas

The of and is very old and was practiced as early as 3rd century B.C. in and . The word “” is believed to have come from the word “thang yig” meaning a written record. This scared is known as Paubas in Nepali and Newari and Thangka in Tibetan are paraphernalia of and experience jotting them down in form of art on the . These generally represent Buddhist and , , meditating and His life cycle, , , Bhairab, , etc.

Thangka painting is a uniquely Tibetan tradition that evolved between the 7th and 12th centuries in Tibet. Painted on canvas and mounted in , a thangka is more than just a of art. It is an object of devotion, an aid to , and a source of blessings. Thangka painting is strictly governed by iconographic rules. From the canvas preparation and drawing of the subject, through to mixing and applying colors, decorating with gold, and mounting the finished work in brocade, the creation of a thangka painting involves skill and care at each stage and displays meticulous detail and exquisite artisanship.

are believed to create positive influences in their surroundings. Its brilliant colors and awaken the and energize ; its images stimulate capacities for visualization and nourish the heart. It is said that just the act of looking at a thangka is in itself a good deed. By meditating on such objects, one can train and gain an understanding of certain types of awareness that the specific image portrays. Another reason for commissioning a thangka painting may be to bring about good , or long life.

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About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas.

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