Between Buddhist Doctrine, Lineage and the Individual: Portraiture in the Himalayas, Fifteenth–Sixteenth Centuries


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Central Asian Studies


Tying in with current art historic discourses on the genre of portraiture, which discuss changing concepts of identity, self and body as they are understood at different times and places, this dissertation investigates lineage portraits from the Tibetan cultural sphere and the tension between representing the transmission of religious doctrine and authority from one generation to the next, and the distinguished individual. The main topic is the visual conception of lineage teachers and the variations in their depiction. Diverging appearances of identifiable teachers in various lineage sets add a further dimension to the meaning and usage of portraiture in Buddhist art, and pose fundamental questions regarding the artistic configuration of historic persons in different cultural contexts.