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01 Jul 2017

Tara Paintings

by Susanne Isabel Krajanek

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I painted these pictures of the 21 forms of Tara between 1990 and 2014, mostly in Bodhgaya and in the Upper Ganga valley in India. The explanations and description of the Iconographies I found at first in Martin Wilsons book ‘In Praise of Tara’ and also in the encyclopedia of Buddhist icons ‘Deities of Tibetan Buddhism-The Zurich Paintings of the Icons Worthwhile to See’ by Martin Willson, Martin Brauen and Robert Beer. I was very happy to see the small block-prints and learn about these iconographic descriptions how to depict the Goddess Tara’s 21 forms, which originated in India and is very different from later, more widely known, iconographies. As I spend a good part of my life in India I wanted to paint according to those scriptures and over long years these colorful goddesses were my companions, teaching me in the art of painting. I started to paint Taras in 1991 in Bodhgaya with the thirteenth Tara, who is called ‘The Ripener’ and finished the first complete series some years later in 1996 with the eighteenth Tara, ‘The Victorious’. In the following years I gave many of my Tara paintings away privately and during exhibitions in India and Austria. But the whole time I tried to keep the series of all twenty-one complete and painted some in different versions again and again, changing backgrounds and ornaments, but always kept close to the given original iconography, like body color, hand signs and attributes. Finally, in 2016, as my very first picture, ‘Tara, the Ripener’ was taken home by a little girl, I completed the circle of so many paintings, with a new version of ‘Tara, the Ripener’ In this book I want to show the actual series of paintings, as I have them now. They are really quite small, only 20 cm x 20 cm, worked painstakingly fine with brush only, watercolor on paper. I added to each painting the original Sanskrit name and verse , as I found them in Martin Willson’s book and also an English translation. All further explanations about the Buddhist Goddess Tara, if sought for, can be found in the scholars’ books, because I wanted to paint only.

price: $12.00
bound: 56 pages
publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 1, 2017)
lang: English
isbn: 154108750X, 978-1541087507,
weight: 5.8 ounces (

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Tara Paintings

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