Himalayan Art Resources

Item: King - Gesar

རྒྱལ་པོ། 国王
(item no. 55019)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Warrior

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

King Gesar in warrior appearance (drala) from an eleven painting set narrating the biography of Gesar, circa 1900. This is the central painting and the principal figure in the middle is King Gesar. Each of the other ten paintings depict a mountain god or local deity as the central subject. Each composition has a central figure relating to specific stories. (Only one example of the 11 is exhibited on the HAR site and only this painting is on view in the Sichuan Provincial Museum).

There are two sets of this same composition. One set resides in the Guimet Museum in Paris, France, with only two paintings of the eleven and this second set belongs to the Sichuan Provincial Museum, Chengdu, China, which includes all eleven paintings.

At the top center is the female deity Guhya Jnana Dakini, red in colour, in a slightly wrathful appearance, with one face and four hands, standing in a dancing posture. This form of Guhya Jnana became popular through the Revealed Treasures (terma) of Lelung Zhepa'i Dorje (1697-1740). Slightly below are the two female meditational deities Green and White Tara.

Jeff Watt 4-2010

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Inscriptions accompanying each narrative vignette].

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Painting Set: Gesar Life Story (Sichuan Provincial Museum)
King: Gesar Iconography
King: Gesar Norbu Dradul
King: Gesar Main Page
Collection of Sichuan Provincial Museum
King: Gesar (Masterworks)