Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Zhonnu Lodro

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 88595)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Sakya, Jonang (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Anna Maria Rossi & Fabio Rossi
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: P3874

Interpretation / Description

Zhonnu Lodro, Sabzang Pagpa (1358-1412/24 [P3874]). (Read a biography of Zhonnu Lodro). The composition is in a very high quality Gyantse painting style and is likely dated to circa 1412/24.

Zhonnu Lodro (youthful intelligence) is depicted as an elderly man with a bald crown and a receding grey hairline. He also has a small mustache and a pointed goatee. The two hands are held at the heart in a teaching gesture while holding the stems of two flowers blossoming above each shoulder supporting a vajra scepter and bell. He wears the red and yellow patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk (bhikshu), a red monastic shirt, and a large meditation cloak completely covering his shoulders and legs.

Behind the figure of Zhonnu Lodro is a decorative wooden throne, common to the Palkor Chode Monastery of Gyantse, Tibet, with vertical and horizontal lengths of wood holding in place red squares. The top is further adorned with phoenix heads and flaming jewels.

At the top center directly above the head of Zhonnu Lodro is his principal teacher Sabzang Mati Panchen Lodro Gyaltsen (1294-1376 [P151]). He sits with his hands in a teaching gesture and wears a red pandita hat. Connected to the throne by a band of rainbow light, at the upper left is Togme Zangpo (1295-1369 [P1830]), seated on a cushion supported by a white billowing cloud. At the upper right side is Jangchub Tsemo (1303-1380 [P2388]) with a long white beard and a pandita hat. Both teachers perform the teaching gesture with the two hands. The three teachers are identified by Tibetan inscriptions beneath each figure.

At the bottom right side is a small figure of Panjarnata Mahakala the principal protector deity of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. At the left side is a kneeling donor figure holding upraised a flower in both hands.

Inscription, bottom front: གཞོན་ནུར་རབ་བྱུང་དམ་པས་རྗེས་སུ་བཟུང་། བློ་གྲོས་ཁང་བཟང་རྒྱུད་སྡེའི་ནོར་བུས་གང་། དབང་བཞིའི་རྒྱུན་གྱིས་འགྲོ་ཀུན་ཚིམ་པར་མཛད། ཆོས་རྗེ་འཕགས་པའི་ཞབས་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།

Translation: "As a YOUTHFUL monk following the most excellent ones,
A mansion of INTELLIGENCE filled with the precious Tantras,
With the four empowerments continuous flow - satisfying all beings;
To the feet of the Noble Dharma King I bow."

Jeff Watt 2-2017

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: As a youthful monk following the most excellent ones, A mansion of intelligence filled with the precious Tantras, With the four empowerments continuous flow - satisfying all beings; To the feet of the Noble Dharma King I bow."

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Jonang Religious Context
Subject: Men With Beards
Painting: Portraits Page
Tradition: Jonang Main Page
Teacher: Sakya (Masterworks)
Teacher: Zhonnu Lodro Main Page
Subject: Throne, Gyantse Style
Subject: Teachers Main Page
Painting Style: Gyantse Scroll Paintings
Tradition: Sakya Art History
Collection of Anna Maria Rossi & Fabio Rossi