Maya Devi and Buddha's Birth (Tibetan Buddhist)

$476
$595
(20% off)
Item Code: TE45
Specifications:
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Dimensions Size of Painted Surface 16 inch X 16 inch
Size with Brocade 27 inch X 34 inch
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

The Buddha's birth is the stuff of legends in the subcontinent to this day. Born into the chief family of the Shakya clan to King Suddhodhana and Queen Mayadevi, His given name was Siddhartha while Gautama was the family name. As a Kshatriya, His sovereign right extended over present-day Lumbini and Kapilavastu located in the East of the subcontinent. However, all this is merely extrinsic fact. Folk tales have it that His promise of enlightenment was conspicuous since His very birth, an event that has been portrayed with great exquisiteness in this superbly detailed thangka.

In patrilocal Eastern India, it has been the norm for an expecting mother to give birth to the baby in her father's home (mayka) as opposed to her husband's (sasuraal). The resplendent Queen Mother was making the customary journey when she came across a particularly handsome grove and decided to camp there to soak in natural appeal for a while. While her entourage of handmaidens were setting up the tents, she paced up to an alluring saal tree and took a branch in her hand. At once she caught herself in the throes of labour. While her handmaidens held up a sheet to conceal her, she had the fateful delivery right then and there, standing erect with the saal branch in her right hand as her only means of support. This happened to have been the start of a tradition of female iconography in thangka: amply endowed, swivelled hips and arm raised over the head, symbolic of fertility and divinity.

Her face is pale from the exhaustion and her torso is flushed. Yet she extends her left hand in blessing over her child, her classical countenance composured in maternal cheer. Legend has it that the baby took seven steps the moment He emerged from her womb, a rubescent lotus blooming on the verdant forest floors where He set his holy foot. The Hindu creator-preserver-destroyer trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva looked on from svargalok (the higher realm of existence equivalent to the heavens) with folded palms, testifying to His holiness. It was then that the baby declared that there is none like Him, the finger raised above the head to include all the three realms of existence in His declaration.

The sheer extent of detail in this painting renders it a jewel among Exotic India's collection of thangkas. The saal tree has been given a curvature so lifelike and a crown so luxuriant, no wonder Queen Mayadevi was struck by its allure. Each blade of grass, curve of the leaves, and outline of animals in the woods have been marked out by the team of monks that put together this work of art, all the way to the background where the pristine towers of her sasuraal-kingdom is visible in the distance. Note how one of the handmaidens holding up the sheet has taken to folding her hands in greeting to the divine, by tucking her end of the sheet under her arms in order to not let it slip. The theme of the painting is so intensely spiritual, the pastels employed so strong, that this thangka is bound to suffuse your space with divinity and beauty.

Unveiling the Divine Art: Journey into the Making of Thangkas

A Thangka is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting that usually depicts a Buddhist Deity (Buddha or Bodhisattva), a scene, or a mandala. These paintings are considered important paraphernalia in Buddhist rituals. They are used to teach the life of the Buddha, various lamas, and Bodhisattvas to the monastic students, and are also useful in visualizing the deity while meditating. One of the most important subjects of thangkas is the Bhavacakra (the wheel of life) which depicts the Art of Enlightenment. It is believed that Thangka paintings were developed over the centuries from the murals, of which only a few can be seen in the Ajanta caves in India and the Mogao caves in Gansu Province, Tibet. Thangkas are painted on cotton or silk applique and are usually small in size. The artist of these paintings is highly trained and has a proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy, knowledge, and background to create a realistic and bona fide painting.
The process of making a thangka begins with stitching a loosely woven cotton fabric onto a wooden frame. Traditionally, the canvas was prepared by coating it with gesso, chalk, and base pigment.
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After this, the outline of the form of the deity is sketched with a pencil or charcoal onto the canvas using iconographic grids. The drawing process is followed in accordance with strict guidelines laid out in Buddhist scriptures. The systematic grid helps the artist to make a geometrical and professional painting. When the drawing of the figures is finalized and adjusted, it is then outlined with black ink.
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Earlier, a special paint of different colors was made by mixing powdered forms of organic (vegetable) and mineral pigments in a water-soluble adhesive. Nowadays, artists use acrylic paints instead. The colors are now applied to the sketch using the wet and dry brush techniques. One of the characteristic features of a thangka is the use of vibrant colors such as red, blue, black, green, yellow, etc.
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In the final step, pure gold is coated over some parts of the thangka to increase its beauty. Due to this beautification, thangkas are much more expensive and also stand out from other ordinary paintings.
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Thangka paintings are generally kept unrolled when not on display on the wall. They also come with a frame, a silken cover in front, and a textile backing to protect the painting from getting damaged. Because Thangkas are delicate in nature, they are recommended to be kept in places with no excess moisture and where there is not much exposure to sunlight. This makes them last a long time without their colors fading away. Painting a thangka is an elaborate and complex process and requires excellent skills. A skilled artist can take up to 6 months to complete a detailed thangka painting. In earlier times, thangka painters were lamas that spent many years on Buddhist studies before they painted.
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