Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Buddhist scroll painting, is a legacy of the Silk Road

A local artist applies color to a thangka scroll painting in Tongren County in Qinghai Province. Essentially a religious painting, thangka depicts images and lives of Buddha and other deities. — Photos by Chen Jie
TIBET---Tibetan thangka, a kind of Buddhist scroll painting, is created mainly for religious and ritual purposes. But it is also a unique painting art in Tibetan culture. The earliest thangkas still in existence today were found in the Mogao Grottoes in northwest China’s Gansu Province on the ancient Silk Road, which for centuries connected the East and the West for trade and cultural exchanges. Researchers believe these paintings could date back to the eighth and ninth centuries. Some scholars, such as Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984), an Italian researcher specializing in Tibet and history of Buddhism, believed that Tibetan thangka evolved from ancient Indian religious painting after Buddhism was introduced in Tibet. [More]