Himalayan Art Resources

HAR: Art History Main Page

Art History Main Page | Painting | Sculpture | Textile | Curriculum | Masterworks Main Page

- Definition of Himalayan Art
- Artist Index
- Types of Art
- Art Subjects
- Regions
- Time Periods
- Connoisseurship
- Introduction: Essays & Articles
- Selected Art History Essays & Articles
- Art Evaluation Criteria

Definition of Himalayan Art:

Himalayan 'Style' Art is art that is indigenous to the Himalayas, predominantly Tibet, Nepal and Kashmir, and the areas under the cultural sway of these cultures. Himalayan 'style' art is primarily concerned with religious subjects and is recognizable through the use of composition, symbols and motifs. Individual works of art are commonly created in sets forming much larger works of art.

Geographic Region of Himalayan 'Style' Art: The Himalayas include the Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, Kashmir, Bhutan and the northern most regions of India and Pakistan. The surrounding geographic regions where Himalayan style art is found are China, Mongolia, southern Siberia, Tuva, Buryatia and northern Burma, all of which are to the north and east of the Tibetan Plateau. Himalayan art is especially found throughout China. In the very center of China's capital city, Beijing, is Beihai a Himalayan style stupa and reliquary mound. Also, along the Pacific Ocean at locations such as Hangzhou south of Shanghai, Himalayan art from the Yuan period can be found in abundance.

Religion: Himalayan style art, characterized by Tibetan, Nepalese and Kashmiri religious culture, is generally sacred or religious in nature, drawn from the religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon and various Tribal groups.

Artistic Features: The artistic style is best recognized through painting composition, accompanied by symbols and motifs unique to the individual Himalayan regions, as well as from artistic and cultural exchange with other great neighboring civilizations. Painting and sculpture sets are a unique feature of Himalayan art; many art objects are created as a much larger whole in effect a very large work of art with many individual parts.

Artist Index:

Types of Art:
Painting: Painting Sets Indicator Images Page
Three Main Painting Subjects Outline: Figurative, Diagrammatic, Narrative
Figurative Art Outline Page
Repeated Background Figures
Contemporary Art

Art Subjects: (See Iconography Main Page)
- Colours in Himalayan Style Art
- Four Ground Colours in Painting
- Why Paintings Are Made: Memorial Paintings
- The Function & Motivation for the Creation of Art Objects
- Art Depicted in Art

- Tibet
- Bhutan
- Nepal
- China
- Mongolia
- Siberia
- India

Time Periods:

- Masterworks of Himalayan & Tibetan Art Main Page

Introduction: Essays & Articles
Maps of Enlightenment
by James Shaheen

A Virtual Museum: Himalayan Art Resources
by Barry Boyce

Virtual Treasures: The Himalayan Art Project to the rescue
by Joan Duncan Oliver

Buddhist Artifacts as the Support of Spiritual Realization
by Tulku Thondup

Tibetan Religious Thangkas and their Religious Significance
by Tulku Thondup

Visual Dharma: The Buddhist Art of Tibet by Chogyam
by Trungpa Rinpoche

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Tricycle Magazine Blog Posts (Subject List)
by Jeff Watt

Selected Art History Essays & Articles

The Development and Symbolism of Tibetan Buddhist Art and Iconography
by Peter Della Santina

Painting Styles in the Rubin Collection: Identifications and Clarifications
by David Jackson

Myth and Symbolism
by Peter Della Santina