This is an introduction to the Thangka collection held in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University by Asst. Prof. Andrew Quintman. It is produced as part of the Yale Himalaya Initiative.
In this lecture Prof. Quintman shows us through six of the fine thangka paintings kept in the collection, and points out some of the most interesting features, including seed syllables inscribed on the back on the paintings that are not normally seen.
Prof. Quintman explains many different aspects of the iconography and iconometrics involved in their production. It is often thought that thangka painting is totally rigid, but this is not so and Prof. Quintman points shows just where the painters have freedom and where they do not when composing the painting.
He also discusses such things as the cultural setting of the paintings, their ritual use and so on, so that in just 20 minutes there is a lot of interesting information which helps appreciate the whole art of thangka painting in a new light.
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to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below