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Sakyapa Hierarch Kunga NyingpoEnlarge image

Sakyapa Hierarch Kunga Nyingpo, c. 1500

Unknown (Central Tibet, Tsang region - c. 1500)

opaque watercolour on cotton
66.5 x 57.6 cm
Gift of Max Tanenbaum, Toronto, 1980
National Gallery of Canada (no. 26827)

In 1073, the noble Konchok Gyelpo (1034-1102) founded the monastery at Sakya in southern Tibet. His son, Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158) became the first abbot of the Sakyapa order. This important portrait shows him in old age, with a realism rare in Tibetan painting. He is surrounded by divinities, masters and monks while two" bodhisattvas" (potential Buddhas) stand near his throne.

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