Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Lineage (Single Composition)

Lineage Paintings Main Page

Four Depiction Types in Single Composition Paintings:
1. Linear

2. Alternating

3. Dual

4. Asymmetrical

- Lineage: Single Composition (Part 1)
- Lineage: Single Composition (Part 2)

Outline: Four Types Outline

There are four main types of Teaching & Initiation lineage depiction in single composition paintings: [1] Linear, [2] Alternating, [3] Dual, and [4] Asymmetrical. These four types can be found in compositions with registers, common to early paintings and with compositions without registers common with the later paintings after the 15th/16th century. From the 18th century to the present a new and additional compositional format was developed that included in a single painting the most significant teaching lineage of a given tradition along with all of the principal meditational deities, special deities and protectors, both general and unique. This compositional format is known as a Field of Accumulation, in brief a Refuge Field painting.

The images of paintings below depict a large central figure in a single composition (not a set of paintings), either a deity or teacher. The smaller figures descending from the top of the composition to the bottom represent a complete lineage of teachers up until the time of the creation of the painting.

Also see the Madyamaka & Yogachara Lineages Main Page with the two lineages depicted in a single composition.

Jeff Watt [updated 2-2018, 8-2020]

(The images below are only a select number of samples of lineages in a single composition).