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Brushed with Passion

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Portrait of a Lama, Possibly Dromton

Date:
last quarter of the 11th century
Culture:
Tibet
Medium:
Distemper on cloth
Dimensions:
Overall: 18 1/4 x 14 1/4 in. (46.4 x 36.2 cm) Framed: 31 3/4 x 21 13/16 in. (80.6 x 55.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.152
  • Description

    Here, a lama sits in a yogic posture within an elaborate architectural setting supported by lions and flanked by two more lions surmounted by leogryphs. In the upper corners two bodhisattvas expound the dharma, their hands held in the teaching gesture (dharmachakra mudra). The inscription on this painting indicates that it belonged to Chengawa Tsultrim Bar. In all likelihood the portrait depicts Dromton (1005–1064), of whom Chengawa Tsultrim Bar was a leading disciple. Dromton was the founder of the Reting monastery, seat of the Kadampa school, and the foremost disciple of the Indian monk Atisha, who revitalized Tibetan Buddhism in the first half of the eleventh century. The image thus establishes a formidable lineage.

  • See also
    What
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    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
37970

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