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This very large format set of paintings (190x120 cm.) on yellow silk depicts the Six Ornaments and Two Excellent ones of the Southern Continent. An additional ninth painting, depicting either Shakyamuni or Amitabha Buddha, would have been added as the centerpiece for the set.
According to the inscription on the back of the Nagarjuna painting the set was commissioned by Gelong Tsultrim Wangchug of Gomang College of Drepung Monastery for the occasion of his graduation as a lharampa geshe.
The inscription also mentions the 70th Ganden Throne Holder (Tripa) Ngagwang Chopel (1760-1839 [TBRC P301). He held office between 1822 and 1828. The auspicious verses on the reverse of the painting might have been composed by Ngagwang Chopel and the scribe was Gelong Yeshe Gyatso. The title of Ganden Throne Holder, an elected position, is the head of the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ngagwang Chopel was also a student of the famous Longdol Lama Ngagwang Lobzang (1719-1794 [TBRC P22]). He was also the teacher of the 10th Dalai Lama Tsultrim Gyatso (1816-1837 [TBRC P260]).
It is not known at this time if there are other inscriptions on the reverse of the other three paintings: Vasubhandu, Dignaga and Aryadeva.
Jeff Watt 1-2017