Himalayan Art Resources

Painting Set: Eight Great Bodhisattvas (Kham Group 1)

Eight Bodhisattva Painting Set (Kham) | Kham Painting Set Outline | Bodhisattva Main Page | Bodhisattva Outline Page

This is a recreation of what the nine painting Eight Bodhisattva set would look like when complete. The images of the paintings represented here are from a number of different sets. Six partial sets are known to exist. The central image, likely to be that of Amitabha or Shakyamuni Buddha, is missing along with three of the eight bodhisattvas. The six different sets all appear to follow the same compositional model. The correct order and position of each of the bodhisattvas is not yet determined.

The painting style appears to be Eastern Tibetan from the Lhatog region south of Chamdo and strongly associated with Khampa Gar, a stronghold of the Drugpa Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

With painting sets such as these the information for placing each of the bodhisattva compositions in a standard order are written on the back of each painting - generally on the top of the brocade or cloth mount. The central painting is generally labeled and called the 'tsowo' meaning the 'main' painting. The four compositions that are hung to either side are generally labeled - right first, right second, etc., and the opposite side labeled left first, left second, etc.

Painting Sets:
- Set 1 Manjushri & Vajrapani.
- Set 2 Akashagarbha & Kshitigarbha, Rubin Museum Collection
- Set 3 Maitreya. Rubin Museum Collection
- Set 4 Maitreya. Barbara & Walter Frey Collection
- Set 5 Maitreya. Tibet Museum Collection.
- Set 6 Nivarana Vishkhambhin (Akashagarbha?) Hahn Collection
- Others....

Jeff Watt 4-2015 [updated 2-2017]