Tibetan Paintings

Tibetan Painting

Tibetan painting is a main form of Tibetan art and may be the most popular art form among all forms of Tibetan Buddhist Art. Like Christianity and other religions around the world, Tibetan painting plays an important role in expressing and strengthening their religious beliefs. Tibetan paintings have been influenced by Chinese, Nepalese and Indian art and develops its own characteristics. There are various kinds of Tibetan Buddhist paintings: rock painting, fresco painting, Thangka painting and engraving painting. Rock painting is the oldest art form and it was prevalent from prehistoric times to Tubo period. It includes sceneries like animals, tribes, herding, hunting, natural worshiping, religious events and so on. Fresco painting is a main kind of Tibetan art and is widely seen in temples, monasteries and palaces. Originated from rock paintings, fresco painting was first influenced by Tibetan indigenous religion, Bon, and learned from Buddhist painting skills from Chinese hinterland, India and Nepal to form its own style. It covers a wide range of subjects, such as Buddha, founders of different Buddhist sects, legends, historical events, social life and etc. Therefore, fresco painting is the encyclopedia of Tibetan religion, history and culture.

Thangka painting in Tibet

Thangka painting is famous for its etiquette composition and marvelous colors. It is painted on silk or cotton with bright colors depicting facts of Buddhism. “Thangka” comes from the Tibetan word “thang yig” meaning a written record. It is used as wall decoration and serves as an aid to spiritual practice. Thangka painting can be divided into three types according to material and technique: embroidered Thangka, painted Thangka, and printed Thangka. Among them, painted Thangka is the most common type. Engraving painting is also known as woodcut art. It was the result of the introduction of block printing technique in the early 13th century. The whole process of engraving includes drawing, plate making, plate cutting and printing. Most engraving paintings are depictions of sutras, picture volumes of Buddha and Bodhisattva.

Thangka Painting

Thangka Painting