Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Lineage Paintings - Asymmetrical

Lineage Single Composition

4. In the Asymmetrical Type of lineage composition the top central figure is out of order and directly precedes, in chronological order, the main central figure of the painting. The beginning of the lineage starts either immediately to the viewer's left of the top central figure or in the top left hand corner of the composition. This is generally only found when the central subject is a lineage teacher and not a Buddha or deity figure. This Asymmetrical Type of composition is generally only found with early Kagyu paintings following in an Indian painting style and not usually found after the 14th century.

The black ground painting of Hevajra HAR #19828 is an example of the lineage arranged from right to left. Each painting of a late 14th century Vajravali painting set depicts a lineage at the the top read from left to right except that the top center position is occupied by the person the set of paintings is dedicated towards - Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen.

Video: Asymmetrical Lineage

Examples with Registers:
- Kagyu Lineage Teachers
- Kagyu Lineage Teachers
- Kagyu Lineage Teachers
- Lama Dampa (Vajravali Painting Set)
- Others...

Jeff Watt [updated 8-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples).