Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Karmapa

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 607)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Karma (Kagyu)
Size 81.28x46.99cm (32x18.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1998.3.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description


Kar ma pa Biographical Details

Gazing to the side with a furrowed brow, he has grey hair and wrinkles. The right hand holds extended across the right knee a gold vajra. The left in the lap in the mudra of meditation supports a white skullcup filled with blue nectar and a gold long-life vase crowned with a jewel and two horse heads. Wearing the orange and red patchwork robes of a monk - assembled from strips of discarded cloth, his lower body is wrapped with a dark red meditation cloak. Atop the head is the black vajra crown, a synthesis of the gift of the dakinis and the offering of Emperor Yung Lo to the 5th Karmapa Deshin Shegpa. Above a brocade cushion and ornate wooden throne adorned with wishing jewels he sits surrounded by blue-grey clouds, green foliage and flower blossoms.

In front, two tables, one above the other, support a damaru hand drum, a vajra handled bell and a golden container. Precious jewels of various colours bordered with elephant tusks are heaped in front on a flat open landscape. At the left, mountain streams descend from white capped peaks and billowing clouds.

Jeff Watt 6-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Set: Karmapa Set (14)
Teacher: Karmapa (Unidentified Figures)
Incarnation Lineage: Gyalwa Karmapa Main Page