Eight incarnations of Guru Padmasambhava: Thangka paintings by Gyaltsen Zimba

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Size : Medium
Dimensions : H- 29 | W- 19 Inches
Medium : Plastic Paint on Cotton Cloth

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About the Artwork +

Artist Gyaltsen Zimba depicts Guru Padmasambhava, a prominent figure in Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the founding fathers of the tradition. He, in the painting is depicted in various forms, representing different aspects of his enlightened activity. Guru Padmasambhava is a cental form depicting as a handsome and youthful figure. Guru Shakya Senge portrays padmasambhava as the "Lion of the Shakya Clan", symbolizing his fearless and powerful nature. The other forms namely, Guru Loden Chokse, Pema Gyalpo, Nyima Ozer, Dorje Drolod, Senge Dradog, Padma Jungne emphasizing wealth and prosperity, spiritual purity and connection to the lotus symbol, illumination and dispelling of ignorance, respectively.

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    Gyaltsen Zimba Ji, a 38-year-old artist from Gangtok, West Bengal, embarked on his artistic journey in 2000, receiving formal training in Darjeeling for five years before immersing himself in his family's tradition of Tibetan painting. Without pursuing formal education beyond his training, Gyaltsen's passion for his craft shines through, particularly in his reverence for Gurupedma Shanbwa painting, depicting a deity he holds dear.

    Specializing in depictions of gods, Gyaltsen's preference for golden and brown hues, especially in border outlines, adds a touch of divine elegance to his creations. While he has yet to venture into online platforms, Gyaltsen finds solace and support in his family, though occasionally grappling with clients who fail to grasp the true value of his work. With a vision of popularizing traditional Tibetan painting across India, Gyaltsen remains steadfast in his dedication to preserving and promoting his cultural heritage through his artistry, hoping to enlighten others about the rich traditions encapsulated within each stroke of his brush.

    Thangka Art

      Thangka art (hangka, tangka, thanka) is a traditional form of Tibetan Buddhist painting executed on cotton or silk canvas. However, it is widely practiced in India, especially in the Himalayan regions where Tibetan Buddhism is prevalent. Traditionally, Thangka paintings are sacred scrolls that were instrumental in teaching and meditation, depicting Buddhist themes and events including mandalas (symbolic representations of the universe), deities, and scenes from scriptures that resonated with devotional or religious sentiments. History and Legend Thangka art, or "scroll painting," has its origin in early Buddhist paintings like Ajanta Caves in India or Mogao Caves in China. It was initially developed in Tibet as a portable form of religious art, however when it reached back to India, the regions of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh became centers for preserving and practicing this distinct art form. As per some legends, King Uttrayan Bimbisara of Magodha commissioned a painting of Sakyamuni Buddha. However, the assigned artist could not draw him because of his blinding holiness. So, in the end, the artist observed Buddha’s reflection in nearby water and completed the painting. This precisely marked the origin of Thangka when the artist captured Buddha’s spiritual reflection making it a spiritual force of divinity.  Thangka art is rich in symbolism and often depicts scenes from Buddhist scriptures and legends. One common theme is the depiction of the Wheel of Life, which illustrates the Buddhist concept of samsara, or the cycle of rebirth. Similarly, the Mandala is another such motif, representing the cosmos, often used for meditation and spiritual guidance. Technique Creating a Thangka painting is a meticulous and time-consuming process. Artists use a mix of traditional materials, including cotton or silk for the canvas and natural pigments for the colors. At first, a well-treated, smooth canvas is stretched on a bamboo frame. The artist outlines the image with charcoal or pencil under strict religious guidelines as every stance, gesture, mood, and color has a deep meaning in Thangka painting. Natural pigments derived from minerals and plants are used to fill vibrant colors in the drawing. The use of color is of great significance in Thangka painting, as it assists in identifying the different deities. The key elements in the composition are often highlighted with gold leaf. Traditionally, the painted Thangkas are framed with rich silk brocades and finally covered with a protective curtain made of finer silk. It can take months to complete a single detailed work of Thangka as it not only requires the skill of painting but the artist has to be well equipped with the knowledge of Buddhist scriptures and iconography. In earlier times, monks or lamas would only work on Thangka paintings after spending years devoted to Buddhist studies. Krishna Tashi Palmo and Gyaltsen Zimba are some of the exceptional artists practicing this exquisite art form. 

    Product Details

    Eight incarnations of Guru Padmasambhava: Thangka paintings by Gyaltsen Zimba
    Gyaltsen Zimba
    Art Style
    Thangka Art
    Plastic Paint
    29 in(H) X 19 in(W)
    Folk Art
    Country of Origin
    Sikkim, India

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