Himalayan Art Resources

Painting Tradition: Kandze Valley & Trehor Namka Gyan

Kandze Painting Tradition & Namkha Gyan Main Page | Terminology & Classification of Traditions & Style Names

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Kandze Valley Painting Traditions
- The difference between painting tradition & painting style
- Trehor Namkha Gyan
- Sukhavati Pureland Paintings (Trehor)
- Avalokiteshvara Paintings (Trehor)
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

It is not entirely clear which paintings are the works of Trehor Namkha Gyan and which compositions are those of his students and later artistic descendants. Namkha Gyan (often pronounced and spelled Langkajie in Chinese language) is believed to be from the Drango area of Kangdze (Ganzi) and lived between 1610 and 1690. These dates however are in dispute. It is also claimed that the 3rd Panchen Lama, Palden Yeshe (1738-1780), was his patron which is why a number of his works are now found in the Imperial Palace in Beijing - gifts to the Qianlong Emperor. Other scholars believe that Namkha Gyan was active in the early to mid 19th century.

Based on the oral history of Namkha Gyan's life he predominantly worked for Gelug establishments in the Kangdze area as well as doing some commissions for Dongtog Monastery in close proximity. Dongtog Monastery being a Ngor tradition establishment would explain the two compositions of Sakya teachers included in his possible commissioned works.

Jeff Watt 8-2014 updated 7-2017]

Langkajie Tangka: The Legacy of Seventeenth Century Tangka Painting Master. Author: Yangtar Lhamo. January 2012. ISBN 978-7-5410-4806-7.

This publication is of significant importance as the first modern publication in any language to be devoted to the works of an individual Tibetan historical artist. The text of the publication is in Tibetan, Chinese and English.