Newar Art Traditions, Historical Reminescence of Painting and Stone Art of Nepal Mandala

Softcover, 122 pages, some color illustrations, Kathmandu 2021, new

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Naresh Shakya's chapter' Newar Buddhist Paintings: Its spread to Tibet and Beyond' mainly focuses on Newar painting tradition in general and its influence in Tibet as well as beyond the great Himalayan plateau in particular. As he has been working on the broader theme of Newar painting tradition with focus on their influence in other painting traditions, he has particularly focused on minute details of the process of influencing others. Newar art tradition was largely influenced by the Pala and Sena art traditions of medieval Bengal region. The skills, efforts and enthusiasm in various forms of art among the Newar artisans developed better art forms than the Pala and Sena dynasties. ~his enormous development of art in Nepal has greater impact on Tibetan art traditions. The development of Beri style of art in Tibet is the most relevant example of Newar influence in Tibetan art.

Newar inhabitants of Kathmandu valley were known far and wide for artistic skills. During the medieval times, perfect skills made them popular in the region. Their skill in various forms of art made them the artists of choice for Tibetans, Bhutanese, Sikkimese, Chinese and Mongolians. Since the reign of King Srong-bstan-sgam-po, Newar artists started to contribute significantly in Tibet. The third resurrection of Buddhism by Atisa Dipamkara Srijfiana in Tibet also connected Nepal as he stayed here in Kathmandu for a year before he started journey to the western Tibet. The Newar paintings or their style could be traced in several monasteries in western Tibet as the trade and pilgrim routes were well connected between Nepal and that region of Tibet. Many monasteries in Puran, Guge and Ladakh have well defined Newar influenced Buddhist mural paintings still extant in good form. Newar itinerant artists traveled to most parts of Tibet.

Their artistic style could be traced in central Tibetan regions also.

In the great Buddhist centers and monasteries like Shalu, Drathang, Palkhor Chode and Ngor, Newar influences are visible mostly in mural paintings. Newar artists traveled to central Asia via Silk route.

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