painted-monastery

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As part of a tour put on by an organization called The Mystical Arts of Tibet, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in India recently visited the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas. They were there for a weeklong residency during which they constructed this magnificent Tantric Buddhist mandala sandpainting.

The monks will spend up to eight hours a day working together on one of their sandpaintings. The process starts with an opening ceremony and the consecration of work site.

Each work begins as a drawing, the outline of the mandala. Then, colored sand is poured from traditional metal funnels called chak-purs. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.

Once the sandpainting has been completed it is ceremoniously destroyed using a ritual vajra.

"The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing."

Click here to learn more about The Mystical Arts of Tibet

[via My Modern Metropolis]

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You would reasonably expect a monastery to have frescoes - inside. Yet a number of monasteries in the Romanian region of Moldavia have centuries old frescoes on the exterior of their katholikon (main church) which have, incredibly, survived the years and the elements. Perhaps the most famous, which you can see here, is the Voronet Monastery with its bright azurite background – known to Romanians as Voronet blue - but it is not alone in this remarkable tradition.

(via The Painted Monasteries of Romania ~ Kuriositas)

Monastery Graveyard in the Snow byCaspar David Friedrich

Ten years after first painting this scene, Friedrich returns to it for a monumental new treatment. Unfortunately, this picture, which he entitled Monastery Graveyard in the Snow (Klosterfriedhof im Schnee), was destroyed during the air-raids of World War II, and we only have this black and white photograph. Nevertheless, because of its subject matter, the absence of color is probably not very critical. [x]