Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Taglung Tangpa Chenpo

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 86901)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Kagyu and Taklung (Kagyu)
Size 49.86x38.10cm (19.63x15in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #BMA 1991.86. Gift of the Oriental Art Council
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: P2649

Interpretation / Description

Taglung Tangpa Chenpo, Tashi Pal (1142-1210): founder of Taglung Monastery (1180), central Tibet - north of Lhasa, the head monastery for the Taglungpa sub-lineage of the Kagyu School.

Biographical Details

Handsome with black hair, a slight moustache and goatee, he sits facing forward with the eyes slightly lowered. The two hands perform the mudra (gesture) of teaching, held at the heart with the 8 fingers splayed in similitude of an 8 spoked Dharma wheel. Wearing the red robes of a monk and an outer meditation cloak orange in colour, the two legs are crossed in vajra posture, right over left, with the soles of the feet marked with small golden Dharma wheels. The head is circled by an elaborate orange aureola and a blue nimbus frames the body as he sits atop a multi-coloured lotus and ornate throne. Below that is a temple courtyard scene with three gold stupas at the left, two seated monks and buildings with three faces peering out from the windows.

At the top center is Pagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo (1110-1170) the teacher of Taglung Tangpa Chenpo.

Biographical Details

At the top left, from right to left, are Buddha Vajradhara, Tilopa and Naropa. At the top right, from left to right, are Marpa Chokyi Lodro, Milarepa and an unidentified Lama (possibly Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa).

Descending at the left are the Direction Guardian Virudhaka, Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded by four students, Sahaja Heruka Chakrasamvara, an unidentified lama wearing a yellow hat, and the Direction Guardian Dhritarashtra.

Descending at the right are the Direction Guardian Virupaksha, Chaturbhuja Avalokiteshvara, Vajravarahi, an unidentified lama with a yellow hat, and the Direction Guardian Vaishravana.

Along the bottom, from left to right, is the donor figure wearing monastic robes and seated before an assortment of offerings. Continuing from the left is Heruka Chakrasamvara (without a consort), Chaturbhuja Mahakala with four hands, Aparajita, Artasiddhi Vajravarahi with four hands, Kurukulla with four hands and the Two-faced Vajravarahi.

(For additional information on painting style and art history see Notes on a Taglung Portrait by Jane Casey Singer).

Jeff Watt 3-2002

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Mirror of the Buddha

Thematic Sets
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Buddhist Deity: Aparajita (Secondary Figure)
Teacher: Taglung Tangpa Chenpo Page
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art (Teachers)
Teacher: Taglung Tangpa Chenpo (Same Composition)
Tradition: Taglung Kagyu Main Page
Teachers: Early Teachers (Front Facing)
Teachers: Early Paintings of Teachers (Indian Style)
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art (Masterworks)
Subject: Lineage Paintings - Asymmetrical
Subject: Religious Hierarchy & Art in Buddhist Traditions
Teachers: Early Teachers (Single Figures)