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Tibetan Wheel of Life Thangka
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Tibetan Wheel of Life Thangka

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Paintings: Pre 1980: Item # 1250033
The Zentner Collection
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Very interesting and unusual Tibetan Thangka (also known as a scroll painting) depicting the bhavacakra, or wheel of life, representing samsara (cyclic existence). Thangkas are often found on the walls of Buddhist temples and are meditated upon in order for monks to reach enlightenment. The bhavacakra has different layers, each with a different meaning: The first and center layer represents the three poisons of ignorance, attachment, and aversion. The second layer represents karma. The third layer represents the six realms of samsara and the suffering within it. The fourth layer represents the twelve links of dependent origination, depicting how the sources of suffering produces lives within samsara. The figure holding the wheel of life is a representation of impermanence and how cyclic existence is ever-changing. Typically a moon is shown above the wheel to represent liberation from cyclic existence, and the Buddha points to the moon to show that liberation is possible. The painting is done with mineral pigments onto a canvas and then bordered with black, yellow, and red silk. Early 20th century Size: (artwork only) 27" height, 19.5" width (entire piece) 40.5" height, 30.5" width