Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Three Secrets of Himalayan Art

Art History Main Page

Three Secrets:
1. Words
2. Numbers
3. Styles

The three most important secrets to learning and understanding Himalayan art are: Words, Numbers and Styles. These three topics have been the greatest cause of confusion for students and scholars alike. Understanding these three topics is also the quickest method for learning figurative forms, grouped subjects, and artistic traditions in Himalayan art.


- Abstract Meaning (examples)
--- Buddha: a fully enlightened being
--- Dharma: the word & meaning of the Buddha's teachings
--- Sangha: the realized monastic & bodhisattva followers of the Buddha

- Conventional Art Meaning (examples)
--- Buddha: a descriptive figurative type in painting & sculpture called 'buddha'
--- Dharma: Books depicted in a traditional Indian, Tibetan or Chinese style
--- Sangha: a descriptive figurative type in painting & sculpture called 'monastic'

- Additional words...

- Iconographic Sets (examples)
--- Buddhas of the Three Times
--- Buddha & Sixteen Elders
--- Thirty-five Confession Buddhas

- Art Sets (examples)
--- Single painted composition (all figures in a single composition)
--- Three painting set
--- Five painting set
--- Seven painting set
--- Multiple painting set
--- Each figure in a single composition

- Definitions
--- Traditions
--- Styles
--- Western Definitions
--- Tibetan Definitions

- Traditions

- Styles

Jeff Watt 10-2021