A thangka, pronounced ‘tan-ka’, is a Buddhist art form that it is believed to have been exported from Nepal to Tibet when the Nepali princess, Bhrikuti married a the Tibetan emperor in the 7th century CE. Princes Bhrikuti is depicted in thangkas as the female Bodhisattva Green Tara.
Thangka’s consist of religious images painted onto cotton or silk. They are often very complicated and immensely detailed and usually depict Shakyamuni (Buddha), other Buddhist deities or mandalas (intricate circular or square patterns that represent the universe).
The paintings are famous for their attention to detail and to the symbolism that the paintings are intended to convey. They are not just paintings with merely aesthetic value, but are traditionally used as Buddhist teaching aids.
Thangkas, especially mandalas, are usually created by applying layers of very fine paint on top of drawn, geometric graphs and grids. Geometry is a very important part of Buddhist art and great attention is paid to try and keep many of the designs symmetrical.
These are amazing works of art that are all produced for us by Thangka artists working in Nepal.