Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - (unidentified, male, monastic)

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 2430)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya, Jonang (Sakya), Kagyu and Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Yongdzin Choleg.

There is a four line verse inscription written in Tibetan letters on the reverse of the sculpture, unfortunately it only gives a very abbreviated name for the subject preceeded by the epithet of teacher or more correctly tutor. The name given is Choleg.

The sculpture style is that of the Tsang Atelier from the region of Gyantse, Shalu, and farther West to locations such as Dingri.

The religious tradition and monastery of Choleg can not be identified for certain but there is a strong likelihood that he belonged to the Sakya or related tradition, sometimes referred to as the Tsang Matrix. This can include Jonang, Bodong and Bulug as the more obvious alternate choices.

The hand postures are relatively generic with the right in the gesture of blessing or explication. The left hand is loosely placed in the lap as if it should be supporting a folio book. The palms of the hands and the feet are marked with a flower or wheel design. The right leg is slightly extended in a half vajra posture with the foot free of the robes.

The incising on the robes gives no clues to identity other than to support the Tsang Atelier and region. The choice of flower motifs can argue towards an earlier 16th century date or late 15th century.

Inscription Translation:

'King of Dharma and Lord of infinite beings,
Possessing inconceivable pure wisdom, love and power,
Lord of Dharma, the source of an abundance of happiness and benefit;
To the feet of the teacher Choleg, I bow.'

Jeff Watt 8-2017

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection: Bonhams Hong Kong (Sculpture. October, 2017)
Sculpture: Tsang Province Atelier, Tibet
Sculpture: Tsang Province Atelier (Teachers)