Project

Drigung Kagyu Murals in Ladakh (Thirteenth to Mid-Fifteenth century): Patrons and Painters

Program

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

Abstract

The main aim of the dissertation is to determine the dates and the circumstances surrounding the establishment, development, and decline of the Drigung Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism in the northwest Indian region of Ladakh during the 13th-15th centuries. The research for the dissertation is based on the multidisciplinary study of murals and inscriptions located in 30 religious monuments in this region, which represents the western-most extent of Tibetan Buddhist civilization. It aims to highlight the specific features of Drigung painting in Ladakh with respect to both iconography and style, and to address key patterns of Buddhist patronage, such as the motivations of the donors and the actual process of wall painting by workshops and master-painters.