Description The richly brocaded robe and elaborate headdress of this lama, or revered teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, proclaim his high status. Indeed, the inscription on the base identifies him as Namgyal Dragpa Zangpo, a great scholar of the Kalachakra Tantra who lived in the 14th-15th century. Known from a range of Tibetan historical sources, Namgyal Dragpa Zangpo came from a prominent family and rose to a high office within the Kagyu monastic tradition. In this idealized portrait, probably made after his death, the rosary he holds emphasizes his religious knowledge.
Examined for loan.
- Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
- The Place of Provenance. Rubin Museum of Art, New York. 2012.
Provenance Ian Alsop, New York and Santa Fe [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, October 1970, by purchase; given to Walters Art Museum, 2014.
Inscriptions Tibetan, front of base
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2014
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