Heavenly Shivatandava (Tibetan Buddhist Thangka, Brocadeless)

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The art of Nepal is dominated by the thangka. An age-old style of painting done on the finest of fabrics, it is a most demanding skill in terms of complexity of technique and the years required to master the same. The one you see on this page is a contemporary example of this superfine art, handpicked for the way it conforms to the venerable painting tradition of Nepal. It is brocadeless, which makes for a compact work of art that would infuse your space with gravity and devotion.

It is a depiction of Lord Shiva after the Tibetan Buddhist style. He is in the midst of His destructive tandava, His pristine yogic musculature exposed to view but for the tigerskin loincloth He wears. A venomous snake slides down His torso and raises its hood. His jata (dreadlocks) are held in place by the typical five-spire crown of Tibetan Buddhist iconography, matched by the characteristic facial features and kundalas. A wide halo burns bright behind His head. Further behind it lies a flaming aureole befitting His divine presence. He dances on the soft bed of a lotus, its petals curling up from the force of His motions. The setting serves to tone down the powerful influence of the tandava. A gently flowing stream in the foreground; sublime verdure and azure; and the soothing - almost feminine - strokes of the brush that define the clouds.

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Item Code: TZ10
Specifications:
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Dimensions Size - 8.2 inches X 10.7 inches
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

Unveiling the Divine Art: Journey into the Making of Thangkas

A Thangka is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting that usually depicts a Buddhist Deity (Buddha or Bodhisattva), a scene, or a mandala. These paintings are considered important paraphernalia in Buddhist rituals. They are used to teach the life of the Buddha, various lamas, and Bodhisattvas to the monastic students, and are also useful in visualizing the deity while meditating. One of the most important subjects of thangkas is the Bhavacakra (the wheel of life) which depicts the Art of Enlightenment. It is believed that Thangka paintings were developed over the centuries from the murals, of which only a few can be seen in the Ajanta caves in India and the Mogao caves in Gansu Province, Tibet. Thangkas are painted on cotton or silk applique and are usually small in size. The artist of these paintings is highly trained and has a proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy, knowledge, and background to create a realistic and bona fide painting.
The process of making a thangka begins with stitching a loosely woven cotton fabric onto a wooden frame. Traditionally, the canvas was prepared by coating it with gesso, chalk, and base pigment.
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After this, the outline of the form of the deity is sketched with a pencil or charcoal onto the canvas using iconographic grids. The drawing process is followed in accordance with strict guidelines laid out in Buddhist scriptures. The systematic grid helps the artist to make a geometrical and professional painting. When the drawing of the figures is finalized and adjusted, it is then outlined with black ink.
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Earlier, a special paint of different colors was made by mixing powdered forms of organic (vegetable) and mineral pigments in a water-soluble adhesive. Nowadays, artists use acrylic paints instead. The colors are now applied to the sketch using the wet and dry brush techniques. One of the characteristic features of a thangka is the use of vibrant colors such as red, blue, black, green, yellow, etc.
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In the final step, pure gold is coated over some parts of the thangka to increase its beauty. Due to this beautification, thangkas are much more expensive and also stand out from other ordinary paintings.
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Thangka paintings are generally kept unrolled when not on display on the wall. They also come with a frame, a silken cover in front, and a textile backing to protect the painting from getting damaged. Because Thangkas are delicate in nature, they are recommended to be kept in places with no excess moisture and where there is not much exposure to sunlight. This makes them last a long time without their colors fading away. Painting a thangka is an elaborate and complex process and requires excellent skills. A skilled artist can take up to 6 months to complete a detailed thangka painting. In earlier times, thangka painters were lamas that spent many years on Buddhist studies before they painted.
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