Paola: “It began in 1992 with my first collaboration with Shang Shung Editions when they asked me to create the first image of Mandarava, since at that time there was no correct image corresponding to the terma discovered by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. So I made a large size drawing of Mandarava in a sitting posture, with ink on parchment paper - it was my first work with a Tantric subject. It really pleased Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche so I offered him the original. This first image was printed in several editions of practice books. At that time I studied iconometry only theoretically, and I lacked experience in application. I couldn't find any female deity in that position and so I scrambled as best I could from the iconometry books I had. This drawing continues to be printed from time to time, although I consider that work to be decidedly immature.
The iconography that I developed for the Dancing Mandarava, on the other hand, dates back to the meetings I had with Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche from 1994 to 2001. He gave me many pointers for making one of my other thangkas. Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche instructed me by providing details and explanations about the objects to be depicted and their symbolism.
Then in 1999, when I was at "completed studies", Shang Shung asked me to create a dancing full-color Mandarava image to be included in a book. At that time, in addition to painting and teaching thangka, I was already an illustrator, so I chose to do it in a mixed technique suitable for the publishing purpose. The result was this present image of Mandarava that appeared in many publications and retreat posters since 1999. The first book was “Mandarava's Long Life Practice and Chudlen” published in 1999, then followed by other publications, as well as inside Mandarava practice book published in 2015.
Meanwhile, in the United States they asked me for the possibility to print the image in large size to display at the Gar or in some Ling. I took the opportunity to enrich the image, so I scanned the original and processed it digitally. Out came the version whose print is easily found commercially, with rainbows in both the halo and the background. Knowing that it would become a public image I also hid the private parts of it to avoid misunderstanding - I foresaw that it would soon be widely circulated online among non-practitioners.
In 2019 I decided to re-elaborate the original painting as, in fact, I always felt that the publication's deadlines and other circumstances back in 1999 did not allow me the time to finish the artwork as I like to do - calmly and with reasoning. So for me it meant somehow "finishing” it. I added the rainbows in the halo, more glazing, shading, gold and silver details, and now here it is - finished, definitely to my taste, famous even before it is completed.
I hope that the Dharma images I create will fulfill their function, which is to help people on the path of Liberation.”
43 x 55 cm with frame; 29.7 x 42 without frame
Framed with premium anti-reflective Artglass
Mixed technique on prepared paper
€4,000 (+ shipping)
25% goes to support Dzamling Gar
75% goes to support the artist