Newari art is characterised by a keen aesthetic and expression of spiritual sensibility. In the language of the Kathmandu Valley artisans, the painting (thangka) that you see on this page is a paubha. It depicts the trio of Khadiravani or Green Tara, Bodhisattva Manjushri, and Seetatara or White Tara.
Executed on fabric-based canvas woven out of cotton, it is a monotone composition. Numerous shades and tints of charcoal, ranging from deep, dark greys to silvery whites, distinguish the various aspects of the composition. The naked complexion of the deities, the gold and diamonds of their shringar, and the lotuses they are standing one, are on the paler end of the spectrum. The heavenly stretches of the background and composite landscape in the foreground are, however, executed with dark, richly layered brushstrokes.
Directly above Manjushri’s crown is the Newari-style Kirtimukham. Mythical creatures of serpentine form creep up betwixt the haloes of the Buddhist deities.
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