Thangka Painting refers to a religious scrolls painting on cotton or silk applique. It is a unique form of Tibetan painting art which covers many aspects of Tibetan history, politics, culture, religion and social life. Thangka Painting depicts a sacred Buddha world with bright colors, distinctive national characteristics, rich religious color and unique artistic style.
Materials and Functions of Thangka Painting
The pigments of traditional Thangka Painting are rare metals and minerals such as gold, silver, pearl, coral, turquoise, malachite and cinnabar etc. These natural raw materials aims to keep the bright color of Thangka. Though after hundreds of years, it still maintain its bright color. Drawing thangka has strict requirements and complex procedures, it must be in accordance with the rituals of the scripture. The process of drawing thangka has complicated steps, including a ceremony before the painting, making canvas, composition drafts, coloring and so on. Therefore, producing a Thangka painting takes a long time from six months short or ten years long.
Thangka painting has several different functions. Images of Buddha Thangka are being used as teaching tools. And devotional Thangka images are being used as the centerpiece during ceremonies and festivals. As a religious culture, Thangka is a historical heritage left by predecessors and a valuable resource to study ancient paining art. When you travel in Tibet, you can see various thangka paintings in monasteries and streets.
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