A TI B E TA N T H A N G K A AT T H E N G A – TAASA Review December 2013


This article was originally found in the December 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 4, Page 22).

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Christopher Haskett I t is always pleasant to discover an unexpected treasure in one’s possession.

All the more so when the treasure is a work of rare value and precious beauty. In the collection of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), a large Tibetan scroll painting (thangka) has languished largely unseen for two decades while it awaits conservation.

Designated simply as Buddhist painting (thangka) depicting a lama, the painting was donated by the family of Rear Admiral Leighton Bracegirdle who had acquired it during his military service in Peking in 1901. Close examination reveals it to be an 18th century portrait of the fifth Tai Situpa, a high lama of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism...