Himalayan Art Resources

Artist: Khazi Lhazo & Derivative Styles Page

Terminology & Classification of Style Names | Artist Index

Painting Sets by the Artist Khazi Lazo:
- Arhat Set (single figure)
- Arhat Set (two figures)
- Arhat Set (four figures)
- Dalai Lama Incarnation Set
- Eighty-four Mahasiddha Set 1 (single siddha)
- Eighty-four Mahasiddha Set 2 (two siddhas)
- Eighty-four Mahasiddha Set 3 (multiple siddhas)
- Gelug Protector Deity Set
- Tatsag Incarnation Lineage Set
- Tsongkapa & Principal Students Set
- Confusions
- Others...

Potential Copies of Khazi Lazo Style:
- Block Print Mahasiddha Set
- Dzaya Pandita Mahasiddha Set
- Tatsag (Kundeling) Incarnation Lineage set
- Bodhisattva Set
- Others...

Khazi Lhazo was born in a small village in the Kongpo region. The name 'khazi lhaso' means the 'artist of Khazi' village. His real identity has not yet become clear. It is known that he was one of two artist brothers named Tsering and Tsetan Puntsog from a village named Tsogo, next to a lake of the same name. The artist Khazi Lhazo had the childhood name, or nickname, of Adha Ani. In their early lives they were both monks at Pasho Monastery which is a branch monastery under the Tatsag Jedrung. Khazi Lhazo traveled with Tatsag Rinpoche, Yeshe Tenpa'i Gonpo (1760-1810), both to China (Yonghegong Temple, Beijing) and to Lhasa. After the Tatsag Rinpoche passed away in Lhasa, Khazi Lhazo left the area, due to the jealousies of local artists, and moved to Khazi village in Kham. There, he met a village girl and married.

Khazi is the family name of Taglung Tangpa Chenpo and Khazi village was in the past a stronghold of the Taglung Kagyu. In later times it was absorbed under the sphere of Dagyab Monastery of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Located very close to the Gelug Monastery of Dragyab, Khazi Lhazo earned a living by painting. The name of the master artist from whom he learned to paint is not known. He is however referred to as Trulpa'i Lhazo which means Emanation Artist. This is an epithet commonly given to the names of master artists whose real names remain lost to time.

Khazi Lhazo was a prolific artist by all accounts. Depending on the number of paintings in some of the known sets it is calculated to be between 80 and 150 compositions currently known to have been created. The Ford Mahasiddha set of two currently known paintings, a set of thirteen compositions depicting the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas, a single Naropa painting from a larger set, along with a seven painting set of Dalai Lama incarnations are all related stylistically and iconographically to each other.

Related paintings sets are the Dzaya Pandita copy of the Eighty-four Mahasiddha set, along with the Prajnaparamita block print set of Mahasiddhas. Another interesting set that shows stylistic similarities to Khazi Lhazo is the Kundeling Incarnation Lineage set.

(The names and brief information on the life of Khazi Lhazo were provided by Gendun Danba, a Tibetan Art Historian that currently lives in Chengdu, China).

Jeff Watt, 3-2007 [updated 7-2012, 5-2017, 10-2017, 10-2018]