Lama, possibly Jangkya Rolway Dorje (1717-1786) or one of the Panchen Lamas

Historical period(s)
second half of 18th or early 19th century
Gilt copper and silver, pigment, and wood
H x W: 50.8 x 31.8 cm (20 x 12 1/2 in)
Mongolia, probably Dolonnor
Credit Line
The Alice S. Kandell Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 26a: The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room
Metalwork, Sculpture


Alice S. Kandell Collection, Buddhism, lama, Mongolia
Provenance research underway.

Because he holds a skull staff (khatvanga), this image represents a lama in his tantric aspect. It may depict Rolway Dorje (1717-86), an adept of the Chakrasamvara Mother Tantra and other Tantras, who was well respected in Inner Mongolia.

With his wide-open eyes, chubby cheeks, and wonderfully blossoming lotuses, this lama portrait sculpture is unusually charming. The floral branch, which is painted in red and green on its verso as is typical of Mongolian work, and the khatvanga staff may be later additions.

Published References
  • Marylin M. Rhie, Robert A.F. Thurman. A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection. New York and London. II-18, 132-133.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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