Traditional Tibetan art is largely the fruit of Buddhism; it is meant to convey spiritual truths. In their art, Tibetans aimed at faithfully transmitting and preserving Buddhism as a spiritual discipline as they had learned it from their Indian Buddhist teachers, either directly or through a transmission that included early Tibetan teachers. Each thangka painting was a small contribution to the larger cause of keeping Buddhism alive and radiant.
In this third volume on Tibetan Painting David Jackson, with Christian Luczanits, investigates painted portraits of such early Tibetan teachers. Images of these eminent personages embodied Buddhist ideals in often idealized human form. In creating these depictions, Tibetan painters of the twelfth through fourteenth century intensely imitated the artistic conventions developed in Pala- and Sena-ruled eastern India (Bengal). This style, called Sharri, spread from India to many parts of Asia, but its classic Indian forms, delicate colors, and intricate decorative details were emulated most faithfully by the Tibetans.
By David P. Jackson
With contributions from Donald Rubin, Jan van Alphen, and Christian Luczanits
Published: Rubin Museum of Art, New York (October 2011) Distributed by University of Washington Press, Settle and London
Format: SC, 240 pages
Product Dimensions: 10 x 12 x 1 inches