Society & Culture & Entertainment Philosophy

Enlightened Fat Man? - Tibetan Buddhist Art

Tibetan Buddhist Art comes in many forms and uses.
The earliest forms of Tibetan Buddhist art were made shortly after Buddha's death his closest followers began to make icons of the Buddha but many felt that there was no possible way anything man made could come close to the memory of his enlightening presence so wheels (Life) and trees were used instead (enlightenment).
The earliest examples of Tibetan Buddhist art come from the ninth century A.
Many examples of paintings (cloth, walls and murals) and sculpture still exist today.
Unfortunately the full wealth of Tibetan Buddhist art has been lessened since the occupation of Tibet by China in 1949.
Many Buddhist temples and shrines were destroyed in the early years of occupation and as a result many icons, statues and other works of art have disappeared.
Many Tibetan wall paintings and murals still exist in Tibet and other Tibetan cultural areas outside of Tibet like India, Bhutan and Nepal.
One of the most common Tibetan paintings known outside of Tibet is the thangka (scroll painting).
These thangkas were commonly painted on cotton cloth and rarely on silk with minerals and vegetable dyes.
The colors were mixed with lime and boiled gum and as a result the colors maintain their vibrancy hundreds of years later.
Thangkas were traditionally hung with a pole or batten at the top and bottom.
Easily rolled, thangkas were carried from place to place by traveling lamas and used to sanctify the tents where they taught.
Today thangkas and small bronze images are often integral parts of a family's altar.
The most common instance of figural statues of Buddha is in metal, usually bronze in relatively small (less than six inches high) sizes.
In and around temples and other Buddhist areas overseas Buddha figures can be rather large (larger than life size) and are made out of clay, wood, metal and even stucco and stone.

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