Traditionally, Thangkas or Scroll paintings, were painted by monks. On market days and at celebrations, in villages and pilgrimage sites, traveling monks and lamas unrolled Thangkas and told stories about saints and deities as they pointed out elements in the painted oil cloth. For protection, pilgrims and travelers would take a rolled up thangka along on their perilous journeys. Both uses are still in practice, but to a lesser degree than years ago.
Thangkas function as a religious aid in ritual actions and as a help to meditation. Thangkas are also commissioned for their protective and positive force they radiate when there is illness, death or other life obstacles.
Composition is usually symmetrical with the main figure in the middle and less important deities on the sides. Hierarchy is central to the ordering of appearance of supreme teachers at the top and in decreasing order of importance: Yidams, bodhisattvas, dakinis, and lesser deities. There is also a hierarchy of size in the Tibetan pantheon. Thangkas are seldom signed as they are not considered "art"...as they are used as an aid in spiritual practice. These Thangkas are "signed" on the back, however with symbols not names .Some of these symbols are an endless knot, a stupa, a yin yang.
The following selection of Tibetan Thangkas are rather rare and very fine paintings. They are approxiamtely 50- 100 years old. The gold paint is 24 K gold.
My Religion is Very Simple. My Religion is Kindness....Dalai Lama
Wheel of Life
The Wheel of life probably has the oldest ancestry of any Tibetan form of
scroll painting. It was said to have been described by the Buddha himself.
It represents in pictorial form the fundamental principles of Tibetan
Buddhism. The Wheel of life shows the six spheres of existence within which
sorrowful lives take place and to which man is chained by desire, ignorance
and hatred. The circle is held by demon Mara. The outer circle shows the
twelve link chain of causation which binds living beings to the misery of
the inner circle of six worlds.
Forgiveness is The Best Gift You Give Yourself.... Dalai Lama
Rare Paintings of the Chakras
The following two thangkas are rare paintings. Drawn from the Hindu Tantric tradition, these paintings depict the symbolic forces of the chakras that, in their untransformed state, confine us to a life of instinct. Once awakened, these same potent energies are vehicles for attaining our innermost potential.
These following Thangkas are paintings from Nepal...framed in rich textured silk brocades, each with a layer of silk that folds down to protect the paintings from the eyes of the uninitiated when not in use. The gold paint is the 24 K gold.
When you go to the product page of each Thangka you will find detailed information on each one.
The Goal is not to be better than the other man but your previous self....Dalai Lama
The next four Thankgas are old pieces from Mongolia...a very different style of painting from Tibet & Nepal. These Thankgas are framed in silk brocade.
Great Art is the Doorway to the Divine Deepak Chopra
Burmese Kalaga, Shwe Chi Toe, Collection
The crafting of Kalagas, curtain, in Burma is an ancient tradition also called Shwi Chi Toe. Originally made for wall decor in the Mandalay Court, they were rapidly adopted to use in homes. The process starts with cotton fabric design cutouts that are then decorated with handmade sequins and couched colored threads. These pieces are then attached to the background fabric and stuffed with cotton. Next the background is filled in with more sequins and swirled threads. Hand made glass beads are attached by more threads.
Elephants are the most popular design in Kalagas, representing Wisdom , Strength, Regal Character and Buddhism
The smaller pieces are suited to either framing or pillows. The larger pieces are best for wall hangings. We have framed them in many ways including using a mat of mirror which accentuates the gold glitter element of these pieces. The framing process can be very creative, enhancing the end result.
The video below tells the story of the art of Kalaga, Shwe Chi Toe
Love is the Absence of Judgement....Dalai lama