1. Manuscript Cover
paint on wood
25 1/2" x 7 3/4"
This is a typical early painted cover from South Central Tibet. These covers are notable for their strikingly abstract compositions, combining traditional floral and vegetal designs in the borders with geometric shapes in the interior. The colors, including gold and silver, are often extraordinarily clear and bright as can be seen in this cover; the state of preservation is due to the storage of the manuscripts, wrappen in cloth, in cubbyholes in the dark rooms of the monastic libraries.
Detail: close up of central pattern