What is Thangka?
Thangka is an ancient form of Tibetan art that has been preserved in the Himalayan region for two millennia. The Tibetan word "Thangka" holds the meaning of a "Recorded Message," highlighting its significance as a visual medium for communicating spiritual teachings and profound symbolism.
Each intricate detail carries deep symbolism, referring to aspects of Buddhist philosophy.
In Buddhist tradition, paintings crafted by Lama are considered to be of the highest quality.
Newari paintings are primarily found in museums and private collections in the West and Asia.
Tibetan Thangka is a scroll-like painting that can be explored like a map through its intricate visual symbols and vibrant colours. Each intricate detail holds profound symbolism, delving into various aspects of Buddhist philosophy. Thus, Buddhist Thangka paintings seamlessly blend fine artistry with spirituality, resulting in captivating masterpieces brimming with philosophical meaning.
Our carefully curated collection of Thangka paintings originates from the very birthplace of this revered Tibetan art form, encompassing Tibet, Nepal, North India, and Bhutan. The creation of a single painting, depending on its size and quality of details, can demand up to three years of meticulous craftsmanship, using precious materials like 24 Carat Gold, Sterling Silver, and Himalayan minerals. Authentic Thangkas are meticulously painted on cotton, portraying a Buddhist deity, sacred scene, or intricate mandala.
The majority of our Thangka paintings are crafted by skilled Nepalese and Tibetan Lamas, the guardians of the ancient Thangka secrets. Rooted in tradition, Tibetan Lamas hold a revered status akin to Gurus in India, faithfully safeguarding the cosmic laws of Dharma. By embracing the profound symbolism and meaning embedded in Tibetan Thangka paintings, we can unlock the transformative benefits of this ancient Tibetan art form, harnessing its power as a potent tool for meditation and spiritual growth.
Lama Painted Art
Thangka paintings handcrafted by Buddhist Lamas are considered among the highest quality in the Tibetan art world. Lamas are a select group of Tibetan Buddhist monks who have attained the highest level of spiritual development.
These Lamas undergo rigorous training for years to perfect their craft and create authentic and captivating pieces that last a lifetime. Before releasing their paintings to the public, Lamas and their entire temple pray upon them, infusing them with blessings and positive energy.
Some believe that owning a painting made by a Lama can bring good fortune, as the Lama leaves a part of their energy within the painting. The symbolism and meaning behind these Buddhist paintings are said to have the power to leave a positive imprint on the viewer's mind, resulting in future happiness and spiritual growth.
Gammas Art Gallery is a unique Tibetan art gallery that specializes in offering premium quality Thangka paintings. Our dedication to providing the finest selection of Tibetan art guarantees that every painting undergoes a rigorous screening process at our London or Alicante galleries and is guaranteed to be original, authentic, and brand new.
Unfortunately, many online Thangka sellers do not follow our ethical principles and sell inferior quality paintings under the guise of high-quality ones. Often, these paintings are created using only colored paint, without incorporating 24 Carat Gold, even if claimed otherwise.
At Gammas Art Gallery, we find this disheartening, which is why we carefully explain how our art pieces differ from those sold elsewhere, emphasizing the provenance of each Thangka painting. Our focus on the meaning, symbolism, and authentic origins ensures that our customers receive the many benefits associated with this exquisite form of Buddhist art.
Thangka is an ancient form of Tibetan art consisting of paintings or embroidery on woven materials such as cotton or silk. The preparation of the canvas is a crucial part of the process, with the quality of the material significantly influencing the final painting. A mixture of animal skin glue, distemper, and water is applied to the canvas, which is then dried in the sun and polished with glass. This process can take up to two weeks and is repeated several times.
Premium quality Tibetan Thangka paintings use paint derived from precious and semi-precious natural minerals, crystals, and plant materials, such as pearl, coral, lapis lazuli, cinnabar, sulfur, azurite, and malachite. These natural substances are renowned for their healing properties and intrinsic power. The artist grinds the materials into a fine powder, mixing it with hide glue and water to ensure long-lasting vivid and vibrant colors. The final touch involves the application of 24 Carat Gold and Sterling Silver.
To bring the artwork to life and infuse it with positive energy, premium quality paintings crafted by experienced artists are taken to a Buddhist Lama. Through this process, the Thangka becomes imbued with wisdom, serving as a genuine representation of an enlightened mind in a tangible form.
Newa Art, also known as the Newari style, originated in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, the home of the Newa people who crafted remarkable masterpieces. Renowned globally for their exceptional skills and iconographic expertise, Newari artists rivaled their Indian counterparts during the Gupta period, attracting the attention of Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan royalty for important commissions.
The influence of Newari art on the development of traditional Tibetan paintings is profound, resulting in a cultural interplay that gave rise to two distinct styles: one rooted in the Newar Indo-Chinese tradition (Newari style) and the other incorporating traditional Tibetan elements (Mahayana style).
In the present day, Newari paintings primarily reside in museums and private collections across the Western world and Asia. Only a handful of genuine painters remain who possess the skill and mastery required to create this style. It demands knowledge of both traditional Tibetan painting techniques and the Newari painting style. Reproductions are seldom made, further heightening the value and rarity of these treasured artworks, which represent a nearly extinct form of Buddhist art and profound symbolism.