Himalayan Art Resources

Painting Style: West Tibet, Silk Road & Xixia Comparison

West Tibet, Silk Road & Xixia Comparison | Painting Styles

There appears to be a related or unrelated visual relationship between paintings of the 10th to 13th centuries from the regions of West Tibet, the Silk Road (Dunhuang) and Xixia (Tangut). The comparison primarily lies with the composition, brush stroke, patterning and iconography. They also share a kind of chaotic loose use of space and placement of secondary figures.

The relationship between the Xixia style and the murals of the so-called Tibetan caves of Dunhuang has been made very clear by a number of scholars over the past few years. The caves with the complex deity murals are clearly Xixia in style and also follow a Kagyu iconographic program.

Jeff Watt 8-2017