Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Meaning & Context for Figures & Deities (Writeup)

Object Writeup (Painting)

Subject, Meaning & Context (Iconography & Symbolism)
- Description (below)
- Name & Meaning
- Consort & Retinue
- Mandala Configuration
- Source Text
- Tantra Class
- Function & Symbolism
- Tibetan Tradition (Dominant)
- Indian Teachers (Noteworthy)
- Tibetan Teachers (Noteworthy)
- Lineage: General & Specific
- Special Features/characteristics
- Painting/drawing Style (Iconographic)
- Comparables
- Others...

The iconographic drawing of figures and deities in painting does not necessarily have to follow the general tradition or style of the overall painting. The drawing may also be different from the colour and shading which could follow a general painting style.

The Palpung Monastery style of painting developed by Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne is a good example of Khyenri style, or inspired, figures placed against an open landscape popular in the Eastern Tibetan regions. It is also worth noting that the background landscape of the murals and scroll works of Tagten Puntsog Ling monastery, a Central Tibetan Jonang establishment of the early 17th century, also preferred open landscape and naturalistic backgrounds sometimes bordering on a minimalist style.

All of the examples on this page are of the tantric meditational deity Shri Hevajra. The iconographic style of drawing for the image above (HAR #77074) is Khyenri. Beginning at the left side below is Indian inspired Silk Road (Xixia #36247), followed by Shalu/Gyantse (#55695) and at the far right, Menri, in a new, or late, style (#3314471) iconographic drawing.

Jeff Watt, 8-2021