Buddhism in Eastern Asia: 18th Century Tibetan Paintings and their use of color.

This gallery includes paintings from the Tibetan region during the 18th century. All of the paintings are revolved around the Buddhist religion. Most of the paintings included are called "Thangka" and are typically hung in temples or homes. This gallery is going to analyze the use of color, and 

This painting is centered around Padmasambhava, who was a Tibetan Buddhist master. The painting depicts Padmasambhava sitting in a temple, enlarged, with followers surrounding him within the confines of the temple. The temple sits on a green island in the water, covered in green luscious grass and the temple is surrounded by green trees. The temple is colored red and yellow, with rainbow like figures spurting out of the top. The use of color is meant to signify peace and enlightenment, in contrast to the barren land that surrounds it.
The painting is of a Tibetan Buddhist mandala, which is a geometric pattern that is meant to signify life. The outer circle is a pattern of blue, gold and red colors. The colors are meant to represent the changing periods in life and the consistent cycle. The inner circle is primarily blue, representing the different forms of life. The inner part of the mandala is red, creating contrast with the blue outer layer. This is stating the difference between the enlightened beings and the regular person.
This painting's main focus is of Milarepa in the center. Milarepa is a famous Buddhist yogi. Milarepa is dressed in white, with a red halo around his head. This is in contrast to the monk next to him wearing orange robes with no halo. The contrast is meant is signify the importance and holiness of Milarepa, being an enlightened person.
This painting is of Mipan Chokyi Wangchug who was a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. Mipan is enlarged and dressed in red robes, sitting in a chair that is covered in red paint. The contrasting area is almost entirely of green trees and grass. The hue of red circling his head and the color of his robes and chair is representing his higher spiritual status.
This painting is of the "medicine Buddha" in the center of the painting. He is in the center, enlarged, and focal point of the painting. He is wearing rich orange robes, with dark orange detail. He is surrounded by Bodhisattvas, all wearing similar robes. This is meant to signify the harnessing of similar spirituality. This is meant to signify that all are similar to the Buddha, but none are exactly alike, with different colors and patterns.
This painting is of Sakyamuni Buddha, which is another name for Buddha before he became enlightened. Buddha is enlarged and in the center of the painting, wearing orange robes that are deep and rich. This is in contrast to most of the people throughout the picture wearing light tan robes. The painting surrounds the Buddha with a rich blue color, signifying his importance and uniqueness.
This painting is of Panchen Lama, a holy person in the Buddhist tradition. He is wearing orange robes and an orange cap, enlarged compared to the others around him. Their are two deities to the side of the lama, they are "Vajrapani" and "Mahakala". Both of the deities are blue in color with a bight fiery orange background. The blue shows how different and enlightened they are compared to the rest of the painting.
This painting is of the Buddha in the lower middle of the painting, wearing orange robes with a blue background and yellow halo. Above him are of five images of holy members meditating. These are to represent the five different kinds of meditation the Buddha practiced in order to become enlightened. The color of the Buddha are similar to the paintings above, but the colors are darker and richer.
This painting is of Tibetan Deities. The one in the center is wearing light green robes with a blue background while riding a yak. Above her is five other spiritual beings all with green halos. The use of the colors is used to signify the enlightenment and peace of the beings. The beings are more bright to the natural landscape of the land, and in contrast to a man on fire in the front.
This painting is of a Buddhist teacher named Namkha Palzang in western central Tibet. The painting shows the teacher in the middle, enlarged, wearing orange robes with a blue halo around his head. He is surrounded by disciples in the vicinity wearing dull orange robes, and that have halos as well but are green or red. Their is a blue Deity in the background surrounded by an orange circle.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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