Indian and Himalayan Art
Pictorial Biography of Tsongkhapa
Gelug, c. 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
Colors on cloth; cloth mounting
Currently not on view
1960-131-7Gift of Natacha Rambova, 1960
LabelThis painting is an illustrated sacred biography of the central figure, Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), who founded the Gelug (Yellow Hat) order of Tibetan Buddhism. Numerous monastic rituals are depicted-reading books, pouring libations, envisioning deities, and offering triangular ritual cakes called torma. Gift-giving rituals are also shown. For example, the scene in the lower right is labeled, "Episode 115: A reception given when Dolungpa requested Buddhist texts to be brought to Nal-lo Monastery." In the lower left, wealthy traders offer white katak scarves, bolts of multicolored silks, and heaps of jewels to the enthroned Dharmaraja, a religious king.