The term "thangka" indicates a painted fabric that can be rolled up. The paintings are executed in tempera, the support is a cotton muslin and the preparation base is made with a mixture of chalk and kaolin. The paintings are considered sacred objects not only because they present religious subjects and symbols pertinent to the complex Buddhist tantric iconography, but also because they act as a concrete support for meditation.
Thangkas, even when focused on the depiction of a single religious subject, be it human or divine, intend to convey a complexity of philosophical-religious knowledge that is expressed through the definition of minor iconographic elements, immediately captured by Buddhist devotees.
Among the works exhibited, Stories of Māndhātar, Candraprabha, 18th century Supriya, whose style goes back to the karma sgar bris school. This beautiful thangka from Kham, eastern Tibet, is distinguished by the lightness and delicacy of the tones with which the landscape is treated and by the miniature elegance with which the small figures placed in various buildings are painted or distributed in wide open spaces.
Another rather rare Tibetan 18th century thangka is that produced in the context of the Bon monastic school. It is a spiritual path parallel to Buddhism, dating back to that of the Rnyng but to an ancient group of lineages of tantric practitioners.