970
970
A THANGKA DEPICTING THE EIGHTH DALAI LAMA Tibet, 19th Century
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
970
A THANGKA DEPICTING THE EIGHTH DALAI LAMA Tibet, 19th Century
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

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New York

A THANGKA DEPICTING THE EIGHTH DALAI LAMA Tibet, 19th Century
Jampel Gyatso with right hand raised holding the stem of a lotus flower supporting pustaka and khadja, the emblems of Manjushri, the left holding a golden dharmachakra wheel, wearing voluminous robes and the yellow cap of the Gelukpa order, seated on a cushion set on the Snow Lion Throne of office, a further cushion behind draped with white khatta, sumptuous textiles covering the back of the throne with a khakkhara resting against its yoke-back dragon finial, tables on either side supporting stacks of bound sutra to the left and a red and blue pitaka basket to the right, two monks below holding a Meru mandala and a vessel standing either side of a dais supporting an astamangala offering, and before an altar table set with a large blue patra containing bilva fruit, a lidded kapala, vajra, ghanta, damaru, kalasha, chisal, stem cup and stand, auspicious emblems and an incense burner, an Indian yogi bearing a golden kalasha and leading a white elephant below, together with musicians, Four Guardians of the Directions and deities offering auspicious emblems, with groups of officials, monks and devotees surrounding the Lion Throne, the Potala Palace to the left with apsaras in clouds above, and the Dalai Lama’s birthplace to the right connected by a gold line to his spiritual progenitor Sadaksari Avalokitesvara above, Shakyamuni Buddha at the top flanked by the Third Panchen Lama Lopsang Palden Yeshe to the left and the Dalai Lama’s teacher Yeshe Gyaltsen to the right, all set in a flower-filled mountainous landscape with the sun and moon in clouded skies above, and framed in borders of silk brocade

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 18347.


34  5/8  by 24 in. (88 by 61 cm)
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Provenance

Galerie Koller Zürich, 27 November 1993, lot 4. 

Exhibited

“Die 14 Dalai Lamas”, Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zürich, 4 August 2005-30 April 2006.

Literature

David Jackson, A History of Tibetan Painting: The Great Tibetan Painters and Their Traditions, Wein, 1996, p. 359, pl. 67

Martin Brauen, ed, The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History, Chicago, 2005, p. 118. cat. no. 80

David Jackson, The Place of Provenance: Regional Styles in Tibetan Painting, New York, 2012, p. 46, fig. 3.19

Catalogue Note

The thangka depicts the 1762 enthronement of Jampel Gyatso (1758-1804) as spiritual and political leader of Tibet in one of the finest examples of Lhasa high court style painting. The Dalai Lama commands the composition, gazing out with a serene otherworldly countenance while a massed congregation of gods, lay officials, noblemen, monks, mythical animals, mendicants and yogis surround the Snow Lion Throne. Animated scenes of adoration portray foreigners bearing gifts, monks with offerings, Lhasa nobles in traditional costume wearing gold and turquoise ringyen, the ‘ancient jewels’ of Yarlung dynasty kings. Gods and Guardians mingle with the crowd evoking the spiritual and political roles of the Dalai Lama.

The incarnation of the Dalai Lama is depicted above right with a gold line connecting the house of his birth in Thopgyal, Tsang, to an image of his spiritual progenitor, the bodhisattva Sadaksari Avalokitesvara. In clouds above the scene, the Dalai Lama’s teacher Yeshe Gyaltsen (1713-1793) overlooks the ceremony, and the Third Panchen Lama, Lopsang Palden Yeshe (1738-1780), who presided over the enthronement, is portrayed above the Potala Palace at the left: for a detailed discourse on the life of the Dalai Lama see Derek F. Maher, “The Eighth Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso” in Martin Brauen, ed, The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History, Chicago, 2005, pp. 117-27.

Compare the assembly of adorants in a painting in the Potala Palace of the regent Desi Sangye Gyatso (1653-1705), David Jackson, op. cit., p. 212. Noblemen wearing traditional costume and the gold and turquoise ringyen are depicted in photographs taken in Lhasa between 1936 and 1950 by H. E. Richardson, see Giuseppe Tucci, Transhimalaya, Geneva, 1973, fig. 179.

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

|
New York