Tibetan Buddhist Chenrezig in Black and White

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Chenrezig is known to be the Buddha of compassion. His name is Tibetan but he is also called Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit, Guan Yin in Chinese, and Kannon in Japanese. The followers of Chenrezig consider love and compassion as the strongest suit and sign of his presence. He can be considered one of the most popular Buddhas, second only to the Buddha Shakyamuni. Chenrezig is the patron of Tibetan Bodhisattvas and Buddhism.

This thangka portrays him in a seating position on a lotus throne with a flat moon disk. He is drawn with four arms. Chenrezig is also depicted wearing a traditional Bodhisattva garb with the soft skin of an antelope on his shoulder, which is a sign of freedom from violence. His ears are elongated and he is adorned in radiant earrings.  He holds a wish-fulfilling jewel close to his heart, which is a symbol of love and compassion. He can also be seen holding a rosary in one hand, the position of his hands is in vitarka mudra which symbolizes that with Chenrezig, love, and blessing others never ceases flowing. The Thangka is in the classic palette of black and white, which symbolizes peace and serenity. At the bottom are images of Manjushri (Bodhisattva of Infinite Wisdom) and Vajrapani (for Infinite Power) —  together all three makes up the Three Great Bodhisattvas.

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Item Code: TQ20
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Dimensions Size of Painted Surface 14.0 inches X 18.5 inches
Size with Brocade 26.0 inches X 33.0 inches
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Fully insured
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100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

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How are Thangkas made?

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. Image
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. Image
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. Image
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. Image
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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