The history of Bhutan | Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel | The cultural heritage | The 13 traditional crafts | Painting

Lhazo: Painting

The variety and quantity of designs and colours is to be encountered all over Bhutan: on house walls, inside temples and dzongs, on wooden chests and carved tables, and surrounding the altars in homes and in buildings of worship.

 

The art of painting is especially important when it comes to religious role or wall paintings. To become a master takes many years of disciplined training and constant practice under the supervision and training of an experienced master. Like all the crafts in Bhutan, painting is considered an act of devotion. For this reason a painter never signs his completed work.

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The profession as thangka painter is considered both prestigious as well as beneficial to one's karma, since the artist works mainly with religious subjects.
Photo by Jon Warren


Many rural houses and shops are decorated with colourful painting. The Buddhist symbols like the »Wheel of Teaching« (dharmacakra) or the »Eternal Knot« (shrivatsa) play an important role here.
Photo by Jon Warren