Thanka Painting

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Site of Russian students of Marian van der Horst-Lem


Letter from Marian van der Horst-Lem to her Russian stusents
Hello dear ladies, like everyone on this Earth is everyone involved with the corona-virus, how is that with you? I heard that also in Moscow there are many very ill people, and even many people died. So I think all the try-outs what to do, what is possible, and wise, for the moment it looks that it is impossible to organize something for in future months or even years. Our buddhist centre is totaly closed, and we try to contact with our computers, I-phones to talk and reach each other to keep and stay in connection. I suppose that wil be also in Russia the case. So every thing is insecure, we cannot say then and then we can have that course or meditation-retreats. It is a pity but we can still do many things with prayers and I say the mantra of the Medicine Boeddha Tayath bekantze etc. and think that when I walk with every step a person gets healthy and free of the virus. Let us stay in contact, and see what we finalyn can organize, if not, then it is like it is, karma. Much love and greetings. Please tell you people that we will meet again. Much health, good happiness and trust, I love you all, your Marian.
1st April, 2020


25th September 2019, Marian van der Horst-Lem starts the new course in Nijmegen

Summer thangka painting courses 2019 in Russia were canceled due to the illness of our Teacher Marian van der Horst-Lem. On September 25, Marianne begins a new school year in her hometown Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Start Wednesday, September 25, 2019 in Dharma centre Jewel Heart.
Dates: Sept. 25; 9, Oct. 23; 6. And in future 2020.
Time: Wednesday 1 x per 14 days 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.
See more:

GARDRI — 25 years in Russia

On the occasion of 25th anniversary of first in Russia course of thangka-painting under leadership by Marian van der Horst-Lem

25 years ago, 1st in July, 1994, first in Russia course of thangka-painting took place in Gromovo village under St. Petersburg, on the shore of Ladoga Lake. This first in Russia course of Buddhist thangka-painting was conducted by Dutch painter MARIAN van der HORST-LEM, master of drawing and painting of Tibetan thangkas in Gardri style. Students draw Buddha, Teacher, Green Tara. A quarter of a century passed since that time, and almost 1,000 students had been participating in more than thirty courses under her guidance. Courses took place in different towns of Russia and former Soviet Union countries. Very different kind of persons took part in these courses: Buddhists of all traditions, painters, icon-painters, ordinary enthusiasts of East arts, both adults and children.

On the occasion of anniversary Russian students of Marian van der Horst-Lem prepared the book Thangla Tsewang. The publication is devoted to life and work of great Tibetan master Thangla Tsewang (1902-1989), who had being taught few hundred disciples during his long life, including Gega Lama — the main teacher of Marian van der Horst-Lem. In other words, Thangla Tsewang can be considered as the great-grandfather of Russian thangka-painting.

Load pdf 25 MB


Summer 2018 thangka painting course in Russia
under the lidership of Marian van der Horst-Lem, from the Netherlands

3-14 August 2018 in Kaluga under the Moscow. Information:

25th jubilee of first course of thangka-painting under the leadership of MARIAN van der HORST-LEM on post-Soviet space  

The first course of Tibetan thangka painting took place June 5-20, 1993, near Kharkiv, Ukraine, at a tourist centre in the village of Old Saltiv. The course was organized by joint efforts of Russian and Western Buddhists — pupils of the lama Ole Nydahl. The main organizers were Gaby Volenko from Germany and Vika Loshkareva from St. Petersburg, as well as Mona from Lebanon, who was studying at Kharkiv University at that time. Mona and found a suitable place for the course — the tourist centre on the shore of the reservoir. The Dutch painter Marianne van der Horst-Lem agreed to direct the course, that was her first visit to Russia and Ukraine.
About 30 Buddhists from Russia and Ukraine took part in the course. The first year program of course, which took more than two weeks, included the drawing of the Buddha, Milarepa, the bodhisattva Manjushri, the Green Tara, as well as detailed lectures on iconography, symbolism, technique of thangka painting, etc. Since then, a quarter of a century has passed, and 31 courses were organized under the leadership of Marianne van der Horst-Lema — both in Russian cities and in the territory of the countries of the former USSR. In total, nearly 700 people took part in the courses.

For beginning


Summer 2017 thangka painting course in Russia
under the guidance of Marian van der Horst-Lem, from the Netherlands

5-11 August 2017 in Kaluga. Information:
19-25 August 2017 in Priozersk, under St. Petersburg. Information:

25 April 2017 is Jubilee of Marian van der Hort-Lem
For Marian’s Jubilee was prepared album as collective present from all her Russian students, who had being participated in thangka-painting courses 1993-2016. Marian wrote,
The most wonderfull present arrived. Thanks to all creators and photographers.

Load pdf 8 MB

For beginning


Summer 2016 thangka painting course in Russia
under the guidance of Marian van der Horst-Lem

2–8 August 2016 in Priozersk, under St. Petersburg. Information:
11-17 August 2016 in Kaluga. Information:


Course in Kaluga, Russia, 28 August till 2 September 2015
and in St. Petersburg 5-9 September
See photos from St. Petersburg retreat

Video Lection of Marian van der Horst-Lem about Tibetan thangka-painting
 4th September, 2015. Green Tara Centre in St. Petersburg
(beginnig) ... (end)

Arkhive video from thangka course in 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia
Part 1  ...  Part 2  ...  Part 3  ...  Part 4


Video (Russia, St. Petersburg, State Museum-Institute of Roerichs, 6th August, 2014)
Marian van der Horst-Lem had been opening of the Exhibition «Modern thangka-painting Gardri», devoted to 20th anniversary of first in Russia course of thangka-painting, conducted by Marian in Summer, 1994.

See on YouTube

MARIAN van der HORST-LEM is Dutch painter and well-known master of thangka-painting in Karma-gardri, or Gardri, style. She is a student of famous Tibetan thangka-painter Gega Lama who empowered her for spread the Gardri tradition to the East. Since 1990, for nearly twenty-five years, Marian had been teaching students from Russia, Ukraine, Europe and USA. Because of her generosity and devotion many hundreds people could join to this unique and ancient tradition.

Summer 2014 thangka painting course
under the guidance of Marian van der Horst-Lem, from the Netherlands
10–16 August — in the St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Gallery «Master»


G A R D R I  — 20 years in Russia
Under the support of St. Petersburg State 
Musem-Institute of Roerich Family

Modern thangka-painting in Gardri style

Exhibition of MARIAN van der HORST-LEM and her Russian students

St. Petersburg, Russia
7 August — 7 September, 2014


The exhibition Modern thangka-painting in Gardri style — 20 years in Russia is devoted to 20th anniversary of coming MARIAN van der HORST-LEM to Russia, St. Petersburg, and conducting the first course of thangka-painting in Gardri style. This exhibition is the part of big cultural programme The Month of Tibetan Thangka-painting, that also includes lectures of famous Petersburg orientalists, practical course of thangka-painting and workshop for beginners.

The programme is prepared by Petersburg students of Marian van der Horst-Lem with the support of St. Petersburg State Musem-Institute of Roerich Family.

The programme of Month:
7th August — 7th September — the Exhibition
9th August, 3 pm — Lecture of Marian van der Horst-Lem “Signes of Buddha” in Museum.
1016 August — thangka-painting course of Marian van der Horst-Lem in Gallery Master.
23rd August — Workshop of Buddha head drawing by guidance of Tatiana Krijanivskaya. The Museum, 2 pm.
31st August — lecture of Julia Elikhina about masterpieces of Hermitage Buddhist collection. The Museum, 3 pm.
6th September — lecture of Andrew Terentiev about Tibetan iconography. The Museum, 3 pm.


Video-interview with Marian van der Horst-Lem (during the thangka-painting retreat in Gar under Moscow, 2011) YouTube.

For beginning


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