Himalayan Art Resources

Charts: Blue Beryl Art History & Iconography

Blue Beryl Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Art History & Iconography Topics
- Masterworks
- Painting Sets
- Outline
- Fifteen Registers (Lineage & Deities)
- Medicine Buddha Realm
- Three Medicine Trees
- Charts Main Page
- Confusions: Tsurphu Tree Composition
- Others...

It is thought that there are several original sets numbering 79 paintings each. A single composition generally represents a single chapter from the Blue Beryl. As can be seen from the Blue Beryl sets recorded on the HAR website, since the 18th century onward the total number of paintings have been reduced by doubling up and sometimes tripling up on chapters thus condensing them into single compositions. The overall result is painting sets of varying and unknown number but definitely reduced in size from the original 79 or so paintings. More research needs to be done to determine if there is an accepted system for reducing the overall number or if it is up to the artist and patron to create a Blue Beryl set according to their own resources.

Jeff Watt [updated 3-2020]

See the publication: Tibetan Medical Paintings, Illustrations to the Blue Beryl Treatise of Sangye Gyamtso Edited by Yuri Parfionovitch, Gyurme Dorje and Fernand Meyer. Serindia Publications 1992. A complete visual documentation - with 8,400 individual images and inscriptions on 77 thangkas - for the education and training of physicians in the many themes, subjects and properties of Tibetan medicine, Tibetan Medical Paintings presents a hitherto unknown set of paintings found in Buryiatia that illustrate a famous seventeenth century medical treatise.

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