Tibetan Thangka Painting: Methods and Materials

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9780906026199: Tibetan Thangka Painting: Methods and Materials
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This study is the first detailed description of the techniques and principles of the sacred art of Tibetan scroll painting and is the distillation of the authors' research carried out over a period of ten years, during which they made five journeys to Nepal and India and learned from some 20 traditional painters. In the first chapter the authors place the thangka or sacred scroll painting within its cultural context by explaining its significance according to the doctrines and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. They also describe the Tibetan painters and their training, beliefs and traditions. In the subsequent chapters they relate step-by-step the techniques by which a thangka is made, from the preparation of the canvas to the final syllables behind each completed figure. A whole chapter is devoted to a detailed description of the pigments, and another to how they are mixed and applied. The theories underlying the painting method are elaborated, and different chapters introduce the reader to the basic principles of composition, colour and figural proportion. Not only does this book document an ancient and in some ways endangered tradition, but it can also serve as a useful guide for would-be practioners of the art. This revised edition includes an appendix of guidelines for thangka painting using modern techniques and commercially available materials.

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