A thangka (Tibetan: ka thang, thang ga ) is a scroll painting of Tantric Buddhism. It is hung for meditation in temples or home shrines and carried in processions. Shown are Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, protective deities, the 16 (or 18) Arhats and various lamas, ascetics and Pandits in scenes of her life in different incarnations, or symbols such as the mandala. Common subjects are more Padmasambhava, the semi-mythical founder of Buddhism in Tibet, the wheel of life or halbschematisierte school and traditions (eg in tree form ).


Thangkas are created according to well-defined iconographic rules (in terms of body shape, clothing and attitude of the sitter ). They are usually painted on canvas, rarely on silk ( very rarely on leather ) and distributed mainly in Tibet, partly in Nepal and India, particularly in the areas bordering Tibet. Earlier they were also spread outside of Tibet in China.

With watercolors on canvas painted Thangkas in Tibetan called bris -thang; woven or embroidered in silk hot gos -thang.

Depending on the material used and the painting techniques distinguishes different types:

  • Gnawing slope with golden lines on black background.
  • Serthang with golden lines on red background or red lines on a blue background.
  • Thangka of the line represent a line, respectively. Technique, which is passed from the Masters to present the best of their pupils.