Tibetan Buddhist Paintings
Tibetan painting is a main form of Tibetan art and probably the most popular among all forms of Tibetan Buddhist Art. As those in Christianity and other religions, Tibetan paintings play an important role in helping Tibetan people strengthen their religious beliefs.
Tibet paintings have absorbed the essence of Chinese, Indian and Nepalese pictorial arts during its development while still kept its own traditional Tibetan artistic features. Moreover, greatly influenced by Buddhist paintings, Tibet painting is mainly Tibetan Buddhist painting, which can be divided into rock painting, fresco painting, Thangka painting, and engraving painting.
Thangka is excellent piece of Tibetan art works. Thangka is a Tibetan painting depicting various facts of Buddhism of mystic sect. Thangka is painted on silk or cotton fabrics using bright colors of many hues. Thangka is of exceptional quality, hand-painted by Nepali and Tibetan artist. The word "Thangka" is believed to have come from the Tibetan word "thang yig" meaning a written record. Thangka are used as wall -decorations. For, Lamas Thangka is object of religious importance. Thangka is an object of devotion, an aid to spiritual practice, and a bringer of blessings
On the basis of techniques involved and materials used Thangka can be grouped into several categories. Generally they are divided into two broad categories: those which are painted (called bris-than in Tibetan) and those which are made of silk either by weaving or with embroidery (called gos-than). The painted Thangka are further divided into five categories:
Thangka with different colors in the background
Tibetan Thangkas can be divided into 3 types based on material and technique: embroidered Thangka, painted Thangka and printed Thangka. Among all, the painted Thangka is the most popular and common type of Tibetan Thangka arts.
Rock painting art is the oldest art form of Tibetan Paintings which was prevalent from prehistoric times to Tubo period. The colorful Tibetan rock drawings include moving of tribes, herding, hunting, war, religious subjects and events, natural worshipping, animals, etc., depicting all aspects of Tibetan lives and the natural environment. Among all, herding, hunting and religious themes are the most frequent motifs.
Depicted either on rock surfaces or on huge stone surface, the existing rock paintings of Tibet can be divided into 2 kinds: petro glyphs (scratched and engraved pictures) and pictographs (painted and chalked pictures).
Fresco painting, widely seen on the walls of all major temples, monasteries and palaces, is a main art form of Tibetan paintings. Originated from early rock paintings, Tibetan fresco art was somewhat influenced by Tibet's indigenous religion Bon and absorbed the exotic style of Buddhist painting art from Chinese hinterland, India, as well as Nepal, and gradually formed their own style.
Tibet frescos cover a wide range of subjects, such as images of Buddha, founders of various Buddhist sects, historical events, wars, legends, myths, social life of Tibetan people and so on. Therefore, the fresco painting is the pictorial encyclopedia of Tibetan religion, history and cultures.
Engraving painting, also called woodcut art, occurred later than the art forms above. It was the result of the introduction of the block printing technique into Tibet in the early 13th century. The processes of making engraving painting include drawing, plate making, plate cutting and printing. Most of the engraving paintings in Tibet are depictions of sutras and picture volumes of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.