Sakya Lama, probably Sonam Lhundrup of Mustang

Historical period(s)
ca. 1500
Copper alloy, traces of pigments and black pitch
H x W x D: 31.5 × 22.6 × 19 cm (12 3/8 × 8 7/8 × 7 1/2 in)
Western or central Tibet
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, Tibet
Provenance research underway.

This very handsome and finely realized sculpture may represent the great Sakya scholar Lowo Kenchen Sonam Lhundrup (1456-1532), abbot of Lo Manthang monastery in Mustang (in northern Nepal) because he holds a flaming jewel in his left hand and lifts his right hand in the vitarka gesture signifying the transmission of knowledge.  Moreover, other inscribed images of Sonam Lhundrup depict the abbot, as here, with a broad face, square jaw, and hefty body.

Published References
  • Marylin M. Rhie, Robert A.F. Thurman. A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection. New York and London. II-4a-b, 108-109.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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