Asian art is not my specialty, but I believe I know enough to call this a Tibetan "thangka", Thangka's (or, tangka's, as it is also spelled), are of Nepalese origin, subsequently exported over the Himalayas to Tibet. They are works of art made to be a pictorial record of a contemplative experience or interpretation of an historical event, such as the life of Buddha. Filled with symbolism and allusion, the best ones were created by artists who were well versed in the iconography and history of their region. Originally rolled and carried by monks from monastery to monastery, today they run the gamut from rare and highly valuable and collectible antique examples to works made for the tourist trade. The present example is painted in gouache on some sort of thin fabric, perhaps cotton duck. Size is fairly large as these go, 32 3/4" by 21 1/4" (42" by 32" as framed). The age is difficult for me to determine; I'd imagine it to be 20th century though. The work could have some age, but doesn't look antique to me. Condition is very good overall with some evidence of it having been rolled at one time, the rolling leaving the typically seen horizontal cracks, as in Chinese, Japanese and Korean scroll paintings; however in the general scheme of things the rolling marks are not all that noticeable and they don't interfere with the overall impact of the work. The viewer is drawn to the amazing amount of detail---countless Buddhas and colorful decorative devices are present. Note the central circle and the four smaller ones within the image. A specialist in these would no doubt be able to relate the particular story that is told here. Note the quality triple matting. Everything is clean and there is no mold nor foxing. This item would make for a superb addition to your Asian interior. See other Asian and Asian-inspired works in my shop, and HUNDREDS OF PAINTINGS, PRINTS AND DRAWINGS.
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