Himalayan Art Resources

Collection: Portraits of the Masters

Portraits of the Masters Collection | Bonhams New York (Painting & Sculpture. March, 2017) | Portraits (Sculpture) | Teachers Main Page

With Himalayan art style and iconography there are five iconographic categories of humans: arhats, kings, lay, monastic and siddha appearance. Although human in appearance the arhat and king categories are essentially mythical.

The arhat category visage can vary in appearance from very old, to generic, to a humorous caricature. The king face has a slightly furrowed brow, open eyes, stern looking, often with a mustache, beard or goatee. The siddha face follows that of the king but the hand attributes, ornamentation, attire and body postures are completely different between the two.

For the arhat, lay and monastic figures there are four general facial types: generic, distinctive, portrait and caricature.

- Generic (following convention)
- Distinctive (iconographic)
- Portrait (true portrait)
- Caricature (exaggerated)

Religious Topics, Traditions & Subjects:
- Highlights of the Collection
- Arhats
- Nyingma
- Sakya
- Sakya Lamdre Lineage
- Kagyu
- Gelug
- Mahasiddha Set
- Miscellaneous
- Figures with Inscriptions

Jeff Watt 2-2017