Bhutan’s endangered temple art treasures

The Guardian has this story about preserving sacred, ancient art throughout Bhutan, thanks to an anonymous donor and a partnership with British art experts, who’ve been granted unprecedented access to monasteries and temples. The one above is from the 17th century and is in the super-spectacular dzong in Trongsa.


“Specialists from the Courtauld Institute have been amazed by the exquisite quality and technical sophistication of paintings that were largely unknown and unrecorded in the west. Professor David Park, from the Courtauld, said: “The wall paintings are absolutely stunning. Some of the earlier examples, especially, are extraordinary.” His colleague, Stephen Rickerby, said: “We were astonished by the rich, jewel-like quality of some of the paintings in such remote settings. It was quite unexpected.” He described their technique as unrivalled in the west and spoke of being overawed by the miniaturist detail, achieved through a unique layering of colours and coatings. The subtlety and sophistication of facial expressions and flowers were “staggering”. Despite their intricacy, some of the paintings are huge, extending across hundreds of square metres.”

Thanks, Michael!


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