Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Chen-nga Tsultrim Bar

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 905)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kadam and Kagyu
Size 77.47x49.53cm (30.50x19.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.28.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

TBRC: P3473

Interpretation / Description

Chen-nga Tsultrim Bar, (1038-1103 [p3473]): a scholar (geshe) of the Kadam Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and a direct student of Dromton Gyalwa'i Jungne. Chen-nga, along with Ngogton and Putowa were known as the 'Three Brothers'. The single composition is labelled 'right four' and belongs to a larger set of paintings of unknown number. Currently there are four compositions from the set identified. The other three compositions depict Putowa Rinchen Sal, Puchungwa Shonnu Gyaltsen and Chen-nga Ngag-gi Wangchug.

Chen-nga is depicted as elderly with a slight mustache, grey hair and wrinkles. The head is uncovered. He wears the patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk (bhikshu) and an outer meditation cloak - yellow in colour. The hands hold a string of prayer beads interspersed with larger separator beads to facilitate counting. The two legs are folded in vajra posture with the feet bare.

At the top left is Lobpon Rinchen Jungne wearing monastic robes and a red cap. At the top right is Konchog Bang, the 5th Shamar (1525-1583), wearing a red hat unique to the Karma Kagyu tradition. Konchog Bang is more commonly known as Konchog Yanlag [p1426] with Konchog Bang being his monastic ordination name. At the lower right is Tolung Rinchen Nyingpo (1032-1116 [p404]), principal student of Chen-nga, attired in simple monastic robes and a meditation cloak - seated on a monk's mat. The two hands are in the gesture of teaching with the fingers representing spokes and the hands together representing a Dharma wheel. At the side is a small water pot with a protruding spout.

In front of the central figure is a table fashioned in the shape of a lotus flower supporting a black begging bowl, water flask, wish-fulfilling jewels, peaches and an incense holder. Two deer are leisurely situated to the left side. The background is filled with mountains, trees, waterfalls and green meadows.

The central subject of the painting set is to depict the important early Kadam teachers. The secondary figures are a combination of Kadam as well as the Karma Kagyu lineage teachers. The set of paintings were commissioned and created within a Karma Kagyu context and in an Eastern Tibetan painting style more commonly associated with Palpung Monastery.

Jeff Watt 9-2013

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 8
Tradition: Kadampa Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Set: Kadampa & Kagyu Teachers