Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Monastic Shirt (Blue)

Monastic Appearance

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Six Ornaments & Two Excellent Ones
- Atisha
- Tibetans with a Blue Shirt
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

With Tibetan painting it is a common convention to differentiate Indian monastic appearance from Tibetan appearance. A convention has been established over time to depict Indian monks wearing a blue shirt or no shirt at all. Tibetan monks wear a yellow of red shirt. Early Indian monks such as Nagarjuna and Aryadeva are more often shown with a bare chest and the later Indian monks such as Atisha depicted wearing the blue shirt. This however is not consistent or a general rule.

Jeff Watt [updated 1-2019]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).