Requires Photography

Dalai Lama

19th century?

Object Place: Tibet


67 x 49 cm (26 3/8 x 19 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton

Not On View





Painting with no borders, with remnants of stitched borders, would have originally been in thangka format.

A Dalai Lama in a yellow pandit’s hat sits on a lotus holding lotuses with his hands in dharmachakra mudra. On the lotuses are the sword and sutra of Manjushri (Dalai Lama is an incarnation of Manjushri). Flanking the central figure are smaller figures of Gelugpa Lamas, perhaps Panchen Lamas. Above, in the clouds, reading from left to right, are Green Tara, Buddha Shakyamuni, and White Tara. Below, engulfed in flames, from left to right, are Lhamo, Yama, and Damchan (the second of the five protector kings).


On the reverse, in red ink, in Tibetan script, mantras behind each deity and a longer inscription (to be read). Transcription available in object file.


1921, William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston, MA; 1921, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 7, 1921)

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection