Paubha Traditional Painting

Introduction To Paubha Painting: A Sacred Art

Paubha, a traditional art, which has been passed down through the years, offers a shared experience for the entire community. These artistic expressions frequently serve as a common language through which the many communities that make up the society interact since they incorporate values, cultural norms, and belief systems.

A Paubha (पौभा) is a traditional religious artwork created by Nepal's Newari people. It portray deities, mandalas, or monuments and are used to encourage meditation. The Tibetan counterpart is called Thangka. Paubha is derived from the phrase Patrabhattaraka, which was eventually shortened to Paubha. 'Pauba,' according to Nepal Brihat Shabdakosh, is a traditional manner of painting gods. 

Ganesh thangka

History Of Paubha Painting, Newari Culture Painting 

A paubha of Amitabha Buddha at the Los Angeles County Museum is thought to be the oldest example, dating from the 11th century (Nepal Sambat 485). It is an example of the ability that has made Newar painters famous throughout the Himalayan area and as far as China. Newari artisans and traders brought paubha art to Tibet, which developed into Tibetan thangka.

The word "Paubha" immediately conjures up the image of elaborate traditional religious paintings hanging on walls during various Newari rituals or religious festivals for anybody familiar with the Newar civilization, especially its rich art and culture. Paubha is sometimes confused by the uninformed with the more well-known genre of art known as "Thangka." Indeed, both words refer to two distinct, ancient painting styles that feature religious imagery. It's interesting how similar they are to one another; in fact, they are frequently mistaken for one another. Both are painted using gouache, opaque water-based colors, on adequately prepared cotton or silk fabrics. Both are similarly prepared vertically and then rolled with wooden poles with two ends connected.

Creation To Paubha Painting 

Paubhas are created on a rectangular canvas. It is made by coating it with a combination of buffalo glue and white clay. The surface is then polished by rubbing it with a smooth stone. Painting is done following the norms and measurements established by tradition, and artists cannot express their originality. Minerals and plants are used to create the paint. On paubhas, gold and silver paint are also utilized. Brocade is sewn to the edge of the paubha to create a showcase frame.

Buddha Eye

 The eyes of the god are painted after the rest of the artwork is finished, and this is known as "mikha chayekegu" (opening the eyes). 

"Paubha is more than just a painting; it is a lesson that ought to be applied in the life of an artist," states renowned Paubha painter Lok Chitrakar while reflecting on the philosophical dimension of Paubha painting."

Paubha's surface is often occupied by a massive figure in the center that is put inside a shrine and flanked by registers of lesser figures on the sides; the background is typically filled with natural materials such as pebbles in abstract patterns. Color is frequently rich and muted, with delicate shadings of figures and beautiful portrayals of details that are trademarks of early Nepalese paubhas.

Regarding the subject matter, paubhas typically depict images of significant deities, deity mandalas, and monuments surrounded by numerous individuals. The majority of the artworks are produced for religious purposes. They served as meditation aids. Early patrons and painters of paubha paintings were driven by spiritual considerations. To gain virtue, Newar Buddhists commissioned paubha paintings, which were then shown on auspicious occasions. The artwork was displayed at temples, monasteries, and personal altars. 

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