Himalayan Art Resources

Incarnation Lineage: Dalai Lama List (Iconography)

Dalai Lama Main Page

1st Dalai Lama, Gendun Druba (1391-1474 [83 yrs]) Biographical details
2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso (1476-1542 [66 yrs]) Biographical details
3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588 [45 yrs]) Biographical details
4th Dalai Lama, Yontan Gyatso (1589-1617 [18 yrs]) Biographical details
5th Dalai Lama, Lobzang Gyatso (1617-1682 [65 yrs]) Biographical details
6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (1683-1706/46 [23 or 63]) Biographical details
7th Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyatso (1708-1757 [49 yrs]) Biographical details
8th Dalai Lama, Jampal Gyatso (1758-1804 [46 yrs]) Biographical details
9th Dalai Lama, Lungtog Gyatso (1805-1815 [10 yrs]) Biographical details
10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso (1816-1837 [21 yrs]) Biographical details
11th Dalai Lama, Kedrub Gyatso (1838-1855 [17 yrs]) Biographical details
12th Dalai Lama, Trinle Gyatso (1856-1875 [19 yrs]) Biographical details
13th Dalai Lama, Tubten Gyatso (1876-1933 [57 yrs]) Biographical details
14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (b.1935) Biographical details

Videos:
- Dalai Lamas in Art (Part 1)
- Dalai Lamas (Part 2)

The first four Dalai Lamas generally only appear in sets of painting and sculpture and the sets only began to appear after the 5th Dalai Lama.

There are minor differences between the iconographic presentations of the various Dalai Lamas. The 5th and 13th are often depicted with a mustache. The two can also have a Dharma wheel placed above the left hand resting in the lap. The 5th is also uniquely portrayed with a kila peg tucked into the sash around the waist. The 8th Dalai Lama often has the additional attributes of a sword and book placed above the white lotus blossom. When depicted wearing a hat then they are all generally the same yellow pandita hat standard for Gelug teachers following after the iconography of Tsongkapa.

The 9th through 12th Dalai Lamas all passed away relatively young and do not have any special attributes.

Jeff Watt 2-2002 [updated 4-2017, 1-2020]

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