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The Fifth Dalai Lama
Place of Origin: Tibet
Date: 1800-1900
Object Name: Thangka
Materials: Colors on cotton
Dimensions: H. 28 5/8 in x W. 18 1/16 in, H. 72.3 cm x W. 45.9 cm (image); H. 50 1/2 in x W. 29 1/2 in, H. 128.3 cm x W. 74.9 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Carlotta Mabury
Department: Himalayan Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B76D9
On Display: No

Description

Label:

One of the most remarkable figures in Tibetan Buddhism was Losang Gyatso, otherwise known as the Fifth Dalai Lama. As part of his ambitious goal to establish an integrated Tibetan Buddhist state, the Fifth Dalai Lama undertook a great artistic project as well. His goal was to so infuse the world with Buddhist imagery that its message would be visible everywhere, enabling people to tap the power of visual yoga wherever they looked.

The Potala Palace, residence of the Dalai Lama, rises over his left shoulder. The bearded man at his feet is the Mongol chieftain, who gave the Dalai Lama administrative control over Tibet. A fierce deity in the form of a Brahmin appears in the lower left corner. The Fifth Dalai Lama's guardian deity was the "sky walker" Naro Dakini; she appears on the upper left, while the Dalai Lama's teacher appears above the Potala. Dalai Lamas are considered to be incarnations of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who appears as a small figure in the sky.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Yoga," Exhibition, 11/18/2013
Label:

One of the most remarkable figures in Tibetan Buddhism was Losang Gyatso, otherwise known as the Fifth Dalai Lama. As part of his ambitious goal to establish an integrated Tibetan Buddhist state, the Fifth Dalai Lama undertook a great artistic project as well. His goal was to so infuse the world with Buddhist imagery that its message would be visible everywhere, enabling people to tap the power of visual yoga wherever they looked.

The Potala Palace, residence of the Dalai Lama, rises over his left shoulder. The bearded man at his feet is the Mongol chieftain, who gave the Dalai Lama administrative control over Tibet. A fierce deity in the form of a Brahmin appears in the lower left corner. The Fifth Dalai Lama's guardian deity was the "sky walker" Naro Dakini; she appears on the upper left, while the Dalai Lama's teacher appears above the Potala. Dalai Lamas are considered to be incarnations of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who appears as a small figure in the sky.


Exhibition History: "Yoga," Exhibition, 11/18/2013