View full screen - View 1 of Lot 106. An exceptional thangka depicting four Sakya lamas Tibet, 16th century | 西藏 十六世紀 四薩迦派喇嘛唐卡 設色布本.

An exceptional thangka depicting four Sakya lamas Tibet, 16th century | 西藏 十六世紀 四薩迦派喇嘛唐卡 設色布本

Property from an important European private collection | 歐洲私人收藏

An exceptional thangka depicting four Sakya lamas Tibet, 16th century | 西藏 十六世紀 四薩迦派喇嘛唐卡 設色布本

An exceptional thangka depicting four Sakya lamas Tibet, 16th century | 西藏 十六世紀 四薩迦派喇嘛唐卡 設色布本

Property from an important European private collection

An exceptional thangka depicting four Sakya lamas

Tibet, 16th century

distemper on cloth

77.7 x 65 cm, 30 5/8 by 25 5/8 in.


Collection particulière européenne

Exceptionnel Tangka représentant quatre Sakya lamas, détrempe sur tissu, Tibet, XVIe siècle



西藏 十六世紀 四薩迦派喇嘛唐卡 設色布本

There is overall wear to the pigments. There are some stains and creasing with associated losses to the pigments. The thangka has been retouched vertically to the right part.

In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

A Swiss Ambassador to Japan.

Phillips, London, 4th February 1981.

Sotheby’s, New York, 20th March 2013, lot 242.





Jeff Watt,

The thangka depicts hierarchs of the Sakya order Lamdre tradition. The inscription along the lower margin identifies the four consecutive lineage holders as Shangton Chobar (1053-1135), upper right, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), upper left, Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182), lower right, and Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216), lower left. The Indian mahasiddhas Vijyapa, Naropa and Tilopa are depicted right to left above, and Lokkya Sherab Tseg and two lamas identified as Pamtingpa appear at the centre between the two registers. The Lamdre masters are seated on lotus thrones divided by pillars issuing from treasure vases, in the Nepalese manner. The left and right margins are painted with a cloud motif and the exposed edges are bound in green silk. The painting is framed above and below with its original blue silk mounts. The painting is one a number of thangkas from a set depicting the Lamdre lineage up to around the beginning of the sixteenth century, the date of this example. Two further paintings from the set were formerly in a renowned Swiss collection, see Galerie Koller, Zürich, Auktion 87/3, June 26, 1993, lots 109, 110.

Lama Shangton Chobar was a contemporary of the third Sakya tridzin or throne holder, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092–1158). In the early 12th century, Sachen spent eight years under the tutelage of Shangton Chobar in private retreat, receiving the oral instructions of the Lamdre teachings, per tradition. Shangton Chobar commanded Sachen to keep these teachings to himself for eighteen years, after which time he was permitted to pass on the teachings to his disciples and also commit them to writing. Sachen followed his guru’s instructions, and transmitted the teachings to his disciples, including his sons Sonam Tsemo and Drakpa Gyaltsen.

Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Sonam Tsemo and Drakpa Gyaltsen are the first three of the ‘Five Great Sakya Masters’, and the founding patriarchs of the Sakya order in Tibet. Indeed, Sakya Monastery was itself founded by Sachen’s father, Khön Konchok Gyalpo (1034-1102). Both of Sachen’s sons were, like their father, scholars and practitioners, who dedicated their lives to intensive study, practice, textual composition, and their respective communities of disciples. As members of the aristocratic Khön family of Central Tibet and thus holders of the hereditary Sakya throne, all three were, in their time, responsible for Sakya Monastery. Sonam Tsemo, Sachen’s eldest son and the fourth Sakya tridzin, wrote numerous commentaries on tantra, Sanskrit grammar, and short expositions of Sakya doctrine. Dragpa Gyaltsen, the fifth Sakya tridzin, was the author of many works of tantric exegesis, dogmatics, medical treatises, and commentaries on his father’s writings. For further discussion of the lives and accomplishments of Sonam Tsemo and Dragpa Gyaltsen, see C. Stearns, Luminous Lives: The Story of the Early Masters of the Lam 'bras Traditions in Tibet, 2001.

The inscription on the lower margin may be freely translated as follows:

Salutations to Nganye Chöbar, the learned one, who, for the sake of others, works diligently towards realisation; and has thereby obtained power in samadhi, in realisation and in magical transformation.

Salutations to Kunga Nyingpo, powerful yogi of the Sakyapa, who works continually for the sake of others, because he possesses great compassion. You, lama of the excellent learned ones, being without obscurity in all knowledge, are a real manifestation of Manjushri. You have (the real nature) of all dharmas impressed upon your mind.

Salutations to Sonam Tsemo, excellent friend of all beings, through your vast wisdom, you accomplish actions of immeasurable merit.

Salutations to Drakpa Gyaltsen, lord of all the vajradhara, who has gone over to the other shore of the ocean of tantra, seeing the essence of all dharmas.

With special thanks to Dr. Heather Stoddard and Jeff Watt for their scholarship and kind assistance in researching this painting and translating the inscriptions.


本唐卡描繪薩迦派道果法傳統,唐卡下方邊緣記錄四傳承者:仙通秋巴(1053-1135年),右上,薩欽貢噶寧波(1092-1158年),左上,索南孜摩(1142-1182年),右下,扎巴堅贊(1147年-1216年),左下。上方從右至左為印度大成就者毘伽耶帕、那洛巴及帝洛巴,中心則為謝拉澤及龐亭巴喇嘛二人。諸位上師坐於蓮座之上,中間以寶瓶及柱分隔,屬尼泊爾風格。左右邊緣飾雲紋,以青色絲綢縫邊。畫作上下方裱於原有之藍色絲綢。此唐卡斷代十六世紀初期,出自一組唐卡,描繪十六世紀初薩迦派道果法傳承。比較同組兩例,出自著名瑞士收藏,參考 Galerie Koller,蘇黎世,拍賣 87/3,1993 年 6 月 26 日,編號109、110。


薩欽貢噶寧波、索南孜摩及扎巴堅贊乃藏傳佛教薩迦派早期主持,為薩迦五祖之首三祖。藏傳佛教薩迦寺,則由薩欽貢噶寧波父親昆貢卻傑波(1034-1102年)所建。薩欽兩兒與父親同屬學者,並潛心修行,畢生致力研究、實踐、著作,獨當一面,跟隨者衆。三人來自西藏貴族昆氏,故為薩迦法王,並主持薩迦寺。索南孜摩乃薩欽長子,薩迦五祖之第四祖,著作極豐,包括密宗經書,梵文語法及薩迦教義簡述文章等。扎巴堅贊屬薩迦五祖之第五祖,著有許多密宗釋經,並撰文闡述薩迦教義、醫學論文,並就其父著作發表評論。關於索南孜摩及扎巴堅贊生平及成就,可參考C. Stearns,《Luminous Lives: The Story of the Early Masters of the Lam 'bras Traditions in Tibet》,2001 年。










特別感謝 Heather Stoddard 博士和 Jeff Watt 鼎力襄助,研究此唐卡並翻譯題詩。