Brief History of Thangka Paintings

Thangka is a type of painting originated in Tibet, during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo in the VIII century, which invited artists from Nepal to Tibet to paint the murals of the Tsuglagkhang temple, the temple's main capital of Lhasa. Later, in the XI century, the art of Thangka began to take the influences of the west when the famous monk and scholar Rinchen Sangpo brought artists of Kashmir. However, the influences decreased when Buddhism in India is weakened, resulting Thangka style that prevails more in Nepal. From the fourteenth century, Thangka returned influences of Chinese art, but until then a distinct style had already been solidified in Tibet. Over time various schools of different styles that have emerged so far remains. All are painted in cotton fabric paints with a base of water stained with organic and mineral pigments with gum set.
Thangka paintings are religious art that Buddhists use to represent gods, goddesses, mandalas and historical figures. Each deity has geometric measures accurate, researched and written in ancient manuscripts. These measures are based for example, in astrology, in the human body, the dimensions of various types of paradise and hell exist in the universe and other calculations secret. Not only the accuracy of the lines and the size of the images that have great symbolic importance, but also their colors, the position of the body and hands, the instruments appear and offerings given, guard symbolic values.