Yong Zin Khon Shogpel: Seventh Abbot of Ngor Monastary
Distemper and gold on cloth
Image: 31 x 26 1/4 in. (78.7 x 66.7 cm)
Mount: 49 1/2 x 28 in. (125.7 x 71.1 cm)
Seymour Fund, 1971
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 253
This painting is one of two in the collection from a set depicting the abbots of Ngor monastery, which follows the teachings of the Sakya school. Tibetan Buddhism assigns exceptional prestige and reverence to abbots, who are seen to be living embodiments of enlightenment. Ngor monastery is famously associated with an important set of mandalas painted by a group of itinerant Nepalese artists shortly after the monastery’s foundation in 1429. This tangka is painted in a style predominantly influenced by Nepalese precedents but shows a new awareness of Chinese art, seen in such details as the throne base and the naturalistic treatment of the drapery. The upper registers contain the Sakya order lineage, and the lower show a group of protective and auspicious deities.