June 3, 2016 -- An authentic Thangka painting of Mianla Dunzhu, founder of Miantang School, has been discovered in Tibet's Sakya Monastery recently, attracting attentions of both academic and Thangka circles.
With a background of sky on the painting, Sakyamuni and his two apprentices occupy the center of the painting with two donors at the right bottom and Yellow Jambhala at the left bottom. The painting is completed in tint with clouds decorated in the sky, hills and stones decorated the scenery, and "five desires" patterns decorated in the center.
Mianla Dunzhu founded the Miantang School in the first half of the 15th century. Based on the styles of Qiwugangba School, he absorbed the painting styles of Nepal and Han and then added Tibetan local aesthetic styles, creating a new painting style—Miantang.
"Though Miantang is the largest painting school in Tibetan painting history, its early works are rarely seen, which means the discovery is significant," said Professor A'wang Jinmei, Art School of Tibet University.
"The Thangka painting is possible to be the early work before Mianla founded the Miantang School. The modeling of the Buddha statue is typical Miantang style," said Danba Raodan, a successor of Miantang School.
"Its discovery is significant not only to Tibetan painting history but also to the whole Chinese painting history," said Ni Xia, director of the Ancient Books Research Center of Tibetan Library.
"Mianla's era is much more traditional and conserved. His innovative work and the new painting style reflect his passion for tradition and his creative spirits," added Ni Xia.