Chatelaine's Antiques' thangkas are painted in
workshops in Southern Himalayan region, by Tibetan, Bhutanese and Nepalese painters, who are practising Buddhists.
"We select them carefully from
thousands of pieces. In real thangkas, the figures, colors, gestures and
objects follow closely the original Tibetan Buddhist practises. We check
them with the texts, and if a thangka doesn't match the original sadhana,
we usually don't take it, unless the artwork is very good. 2/3 have to
be rejected, because of errors in iconography", says Maitreya.
Most of our thangkas are hand made copies of old masterworks, that were based on certain visions or rituals.
Artists follow the originals as closely as they can. Painters make their
paints from minerals and herbs in traditional manner. Our thangkas are
real paintings on canvas, not print art.
A few words about framing thangkas that
are not mounted in brocade. It is a good idea to use a glass for the
best protection. The glass should not touch the thangka. Acid free
cardboard should be used. There are different kinds of glass. We have
tried normal, matte, and special non-reflecting glass that is almost
invisible, but costs something like $100 more. Usually we ourselves use
normal glass. Thangkas should be kept away from direct sunlight.
Ultraviolet glass may help in some situations.
Thangka business is big in Nepal, with some side effects. Nepalese boys are painting cheap thangkas for
ignorant tourists with very little knowledge of the tradition. H.H. the
Dalai Lama, among other great teachers, has talked about this problem in
Real antique is rare and expensive, but there is a
common method of using smoke to make a painting look dark and old - so
called instant antique. As a Chatelaine's Antiques customer you are supporting
artists, who support the genuine tradition.