Spiritual Motifs in Paintings have made them special through ages. Be it be Christian paintings or Thangka Paintings, the spiritual motifs lend an air of serenity and harmony to them.
Spiritual Motifs in Christian Paintings
Christian Paintings were supposed to spiritually educate the illiterate and coarse Christians with the concepts of Christianity. Therefore there was this need to be simplistic and otherworldly at the same time, which ensured that these paintings were had a very spiritual dimension to them. Though the church commissioned most Paintings and the painter had little or no freedom to choose his theme the painters talent couldn’t be restricted. "The art of painting” was after all was used for “the service of the Church to depict the sufferings of Christ and of many other models; it also preserves the countenances of men after their death." The life of Christ and scenes of Nativity were the most dominant themes.
Spiritual Motifs in Hindu Paintings
The spiritual aspect of Hindu Paintings is something that makes them special. Hindu epics and Puranas, after all, make for sumptuous food for imagination. They are replete with colorful and fascinating gods, goddesses and characters, whose visual representations (i.e. Hindu Paintings) are equally imaginative and spiritually uplifting.
Colorful portraits of Hindu Gods and Goddesses adorn the walls and puja rooms (prayer rooms) of almost every Hindu household in India. In fact it can be safely said that these Hindu Paintings have today become a part of the Indian psyche.
Spiritual Motifs in Thangka Paintings
Buddhism is a religion of spirituality and Thangka Paintings are the best possible specimens of the Spiritual Philosophy of Buddhism. Thangkas are records or pictorial depictions of contemplative experiences. Buddhist monks when instructed by their teachers to imagine themselves in specific situation for meditations, use the Thangkas as their reference point
Most of these paintings have a complex web of minor figures that signify different aspects of the dominant philosophy. One has to cross various levels of earthly temptations, spiritual redundancy and physical moorings, to reach the center of perfection, which is represented by the deity Shakyamuni.
Angel Paintings as a Spiritual Motif
Angels are divine beings and Angel Paintings have been a practice in Christian Paintings since the very inception of the school of art. In the Renaissance period Christian scholars synthesized the concept of angels with biblical ideas of the Cherubim. The spiritual significance of angels in Christian paintings gave them a formidable position in religious iconography. In fact modern imagery of angels is derived from these very depictions. Great artists such as Boticelli and Da Vinci have portrayed the angels as beautiful men and women with flowing robes and outspread wings.