"Faith and Empire : Art and Politics in Tibet": Tibetan/Himalayan Art

This guide lists resources to support research related to the class "Faith and Empire" taught by Dr. Karl Debreczeny. It allows searching by historical period and by specific topic.

Sources on Tibetan & Himalayan Art

Béguin, Gilles. Les Peintures du bouddhisme Tibétain. Paris: Musée national des arts asiatiques-Guimet.

Brauen, Martin ed. 2009. Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism. New York and Stuttgart: Rubin Museum of Art and Arnoldsche Art Publishers.

Chayet, Anne. 1994. Art et archéologie du Tibet. Paris: Picard.

Cüppers, Christoph, Leonard van der Kuijp, and Ulrich Pagel, eds. With a Chinese introduction by Dobis Tsering Gyal. Handbook of Tibetan Iconometry: A Guide to the Arts of the 17th Century. Leiden: Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library, 2012.

dKon mchog bstan ’dzin, 1994.  Dzo gnas skra rtsei chu thigs. [Water Droplets of the Arts Collected on the Tips of Hairs]. Beijing: Zhongguo Zangxue chubanshe. (in Tibetan)

dKon mchog bstan ’dzin, ’Phrin las rgyal mtshan, and Padma g.yu sgron, eds. 2010. Bod kyi lag shes kun ’dus chen mo [Great Compendium of Tibetan Handicrafts] Beijing: China Tibetology Publishers, 2010

Heller, Amy. 1999. Tibetan Art: Tracing the Development of Spiritual Ideals. Milan: Jaca Book.

Henss, Michael. 2014. The Cultural Monuments of Tibet: The Central Regions. Munich: Prestel.

Jackson, David. A History of Tibetan Painting: The Great Tibetan Painters and Their Traditions. Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

———. 2009. Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Revival of the Encampment Style. New York: Rubin Museum of Art.

———2012. The Place of Provenance: Regional Styles in Tibetan Painting. New York: Rubin Museum of Art.

———. 2015. Painting Traditions of the Drigung Kagyu School. New York: Rubin Museum of Art.

———. 2016. A Revolutionary Artist of Tibet: Khyentse Chenmo of Gongkar. New York: Rubin Museum of Art.

Jackson, David P., and Janice A. Jackson. 1984. Tibetan Thangka painting: Methods & Materials. London: Serindia Publications.

Lading, Qiangba Gesang (lHa-sding Byams-pa skal-bzang), ed. 2000. Budala gong bihua yuanliu 布达拉宮壁画源流 [A Mirror of the Murals in the Potala]. Beijing: Jiuzhou tushu chubanshe.

Leidy, Denise Patry. 2008. The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning. Boston: Shambhala.

Linrothe, Rob. 2014. Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies. New York: Rubin Museum of Art.

Pal, Pratapaditya. 1984. Tibetan Paintings: A Study of Tibetan Thankas, Eleventh to Nineteenth Centuries. New York: Ravi Kumar.

Schroeder, Ulrich von. 1981. Indo-Tibetan Bronzes. Hong Kong: Visual Dharma.

Schroeder, Ulrich von. 2001. Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, vol. I, India & Nepal; vol. II, Tibet & China. Hong Kong: Visual Dharma.

Schroeder, Ulrich von. 2008. 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet. London & Chicago: Serindia.

Watt, James C. Y., and Anne E. Wardell. 1997. When Silk Was Gold: Central Asian and Chinese Textiles. New York: Metropolitan Museum.

Marsha Weidner ed., Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism 850-1850. Spencer Museum of Art: University of Kansas.

Xie Jisheng 谢继胜; Xiong Wenbin 熊文彬, Luo Wenhua 罗文华, and Liao Yang 廖旸, 2010. Zangchuan Fojiao yishu fazhan shi (藏传佛教 艺术发展史). Shanghai: 上海书画出版社.

Exhibition Catalogs

Faith and empire : art and politics in Tibetan Buddhism. New York, NY : Rubin Museum of Art, [2019]
Assembly of the exalted : the Tibetan Buddhist shrine room : the Alice S. Kandell Collection at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (2018)
Encountering, retracing, mapping : the ethnographic legacy of Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter / Mareile Flitsch, Maike Powroznik, Martina Wernsdörfer (eds) ; authors, Charlotte Butty [and 14 others].
The Second Buddha : master of time / [curated by Elena Pakhoutova](2018)
唵嘛呢叭咪吽 : 院藏藏傳佛教文物 = Oṃ-maṇi-padme-hûm = Tibetan buddhist art in the National Palace Museum / 主編, 宋兆霖. (2016)
Collecting paradise : Buddhist art of Kashmir and its legacies / by Rob Linrothe ; with contributions by Christian Luczanits and Melissa Kerin.
Golden visions of Densatil : a Tibetan Buddhist monastery / edited by Olaf Czaja and Adriana Proser. New York : Asia Society Museum, 2014.
Painting Traditions of the Drigung Kagyu School / David P. Jackson ; curated by David P. Jackson, Karl Debreczeny, and Christian Luczanits. New York : Rubin Museum of Art, 2014.
特別展チベットの仏教世界 : もうひとつの大谷探検隊 = The world of Tibetan Buddhism / 編集龍谷大学龍谷ミュージアム, 産経新聞社, 京都新聞. Ryūkoku Daigaku Ryūkoku Myūjiamu : Sankei Shinbun : Kyōto Shinbun, 2014.
布达拉宮 : 珍宝馆图录 = Pho-braṅ Po-tā-la = [Potala Palace] / 布达拉宮管理处编辑.
Beijing : Zhongguo Zang xue chu ban she, 2013.
The black hat eccentric : artistic visions of the tenth Karmapa / Karl Debreczeny ; with contributions by Ian A. Alsop, David P. Jackson, Irmgard Mengele. New York : Rubin Museum of Art, [2012], ©2012.
法身梵像 : 西藏佛教藝術展 / [編輯國立歷史博物館編輯委員會 ; 主編徐天福] = Faces of dharma : selected works of Tibetan Buddhist art / [editorial committee: Editorial Committee of National Museum of History ; chief editor: Hsu Tien-fu]. Taibei Shi : Guo li li shi bo wu guan, 2012.
The place of provenance : regional styles in Tibetan painting / David P. Jackson ; with a contribution by Rob Linrothe. New York : Rubin Museum of Art, [2012], ©2012.
聖地チベット : ポタラ宮と天空の至宝 = Tibet : treasures from the roof of the world.
[Tokyo] : Daikō, 2009.
Images of faith : a private collection of Himalayan art. London : Rossi & Rossi, ©2008.
蒙藏風情 : 台灣美術教授聯展 / [蒙藏委員會編譯室] = Meng Zang feng qing : Taiwan mei shu jiao shou lian zhan / [Meng Zang wei yuan hui bian yi shi].
Taibei Shi : Meng Zang wei yuan hui, Minguo 96 [2007].
Tibet : Klöster öffnen ihre Schatzkammern  / Kulturstiftung Ruhr Essen, Villa Hügel. Essen : Kulturstiftung Ruhr ; München : Hirmer, 2006.  (662 pages!)
talog of an exhibition held at Villa Hügel, Essen, Germany,  Aug. 19-Nov. 26,  2006,in cooperation with the Administrative Bureau of Cultural Relics, Tibet Autonomous Region, China.
Warriors of the Himalayas : rediscovering the arms and armor of Tibet / Donald J. LaRocca, with essays by John Clarke, Amy Heller, and Lozang Jamspal.
New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006.
Defining Yongle : imperial art in early fifteenth-century China / James C.Y. Watt and Denise Patry Leidy. New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; New Haven : Yale University Press, c2005.
“This volume traces the roots of the Yongle artistic styles to the previous dynasty, the Yuan (1271-1368), when China was ruled by the Mongols. It offers new insight into the emperor's attachment to Tibetan Buddhism, which is reflected in many of the objects illustrated in this volume."
Grandes lamas del Tíbet : el arte del retrato en bronce, siglos XIII-XIX / [catalogación, Ramon N. Prats ; textos, Liliana Godia Guardiola, Luis Monreal Agustí, Ramon N. Prats] Barcelona : Fundación Francisco Godia, c2004.
Paradise and plumage : Chinese connections in Tibetan Arhat painting / by Rob Linrothe. New York : Rubin Museum of Art ; Chicago : Serindia Publications, 2004.
妙諦心傳 : 故宮珍藏藏傳佛教文物 / 藝博館 ; 主辦民政總署 ... [et al.] = Essência luminosa : relíquias do Budismo Tibetano do Palácio Imperial / MAM ; organização, Instituto para os Assuntos Cívicos e Municipais ... [et al.] = Lightness of essence : Tibetan Buddhism relics of the Palace Museum. Aomen : Aomen yi shu bo wu guan, 2003. 397 pages
雪域藏珍 : 西藏文物精华 / 上海博物館 = Treasures from snow mountains : gems of Tibetan cultural relics / Shanghai Museum.
Shanghai : Shanghai shu hua chu ban she, 2001.
皇權與佛法: 藏傳佛敎法器特展圖錄 = Monarchy and its Buddhist way : Tibetan-Buddhist ritual implememnts in the National Palace Museum / [編輯者國立故宮博物館編輯委員會;著者蔡玫芬; 英文翻譯蔡依倫]. Taibei Shi : Guo li gu gong bo wu yuan, Min guo 88 [1999]
Sacred visions [electronic resource] : early paintings from Central Tibet / Steven M. Kossak, Jane Casey Singer ; with an essay by Robert Bruce-Gardner.
On the path to enlightenment : the Berti Aschmann Foundation of Tibetan art at the Museum Rietberg Zürich / Helmut Uhlig. Zürich : Museum Rietberg, 1995.

Online Resources

Himalayan Art Resources

Online educational resource with over 25,000 images of Tibetan tankas from collections worldwide, searchable by image, data, and lineage, as well as links to other Tibetan art sites. Articles by Tulku Thondup, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Peter Della Santina, David Jackson and Moke Mokotoff supplement the images. Maintained by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in collaboration with Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and Wisdom Publications.  An excellent online resource for traditional Tibetan art.

The Huntington Archive
John C. and Susan L. Huntington online photographic archive of Buddhist and Asian art, including more than 30,000 images.


This website, now hosted by the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, brings an innovative experience to use interactive web technologies and elegant design to experience art and understand its role in expressing the human experience.

Dharmapala Thangka Centre: School of Thangka Painting

This site is a portal to many thangka images, as well as information on the art of thankga painting.

Exploring the Mandala
Anything related the Mandala, including many online resouces      

Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Art (relocated)

Images and information on the early art and archaeology of the western Himalayas, curated by Christian Luczanits.



Rubin Museum of Art
List of educational resources for the study of Himalayan art.  Includes the Educational Interactive Library, a site for exploring thangka and other artistic images by theme, time, and place.  An excellent online resource for traditional Tibetan art.

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Built in 1945, the museum building is the earliest Himalayan style architecture in the United States.

Newark Museum, Tibetan Collection Exhibitions
Newark Museum, Tibetan Collection Exhibitions.

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Article about the Central Asian art exhibit at the Hermitage museum, reopened in February 2013.

National Museum of Bhutan