Potala from south west with procession

Potala from south west with procession

1998.131.294 (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman? Unknown


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

October 6th 1936?


Lhasa > Potala (from south west)

Accession number


Image Dimensions

110 x 81 mm

The Potala Palace from the south west. Spectators line the route

Further Information



Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Revised Photographer

Not Chapman?

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - The film has a number '7' printed on the bottom right hand corner and there are two areas of damage along the bottom edge, although these do not interfere with the image [MS 4/4/2005]

Technical Information - This image was probably not taken with the quarter plate Zeiss Nixe film or film pack camera as the negative is slightly smaller and thinner than that which Chapman used on the Mission to Lhasa when using his quarter-plate sized negatives. The image does also not relate to any of the captions for quarter-plate negatives in the handlist of images taken that Chapman compiled during the Mission [see PRM archive]. The image, therefore, may have been taken by another member of the Mission, many of whom enjoyed taking photographs. See Chapman
Lhasa The Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938] for a description of the still and cine cameras that Chapman used as Mission photographer [MS 25/2/2005]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: 1998.131.341, 294, 295 & 394 seem all to have been taken with this similar type of negative, which is slightly different to that which Chapman used on the Mission [MS 21/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: This image could have been taken at any one of a number of processions witnessed by the British Mission to Lhasa in 1936-7 during their stay. Most likely it is the procession of the Regent going to Samye, which took place on October 6th 1936, although this requires further investigation. However, internal evidence in the photograph, particularly the dense rain clouds, suggests that this image was taken at around this time of year [MS 18/03/2006]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Chapman wrote in his publication Lhasa the Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938; reprint, London: Readers Union Ltd., 1940]: "The Tibetans, in common with most Orientals, are very fond of ceremonial processions and the observation of festivals and saints' days; and during our six months at Lhasa we were the fortunate spectators of several such celebrations, for the Tibetan officials and people, in spite of their general policy of seclusion, were anxious that we, as their guests, should be given full opportunity to witness these scenes of gorgeous pageantry and ceremonial. If we were not formally invited by the Government we would usually receive a special message from Tsarong or from some other official telling us what was toward and where we should with most advantage station ourselves. Apart from the New Year Festivities, ... the most spectacular procession was on the occasion of the Regent going on tour" [1940, p.216] [MS 4/4/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Potala from south west with procession" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.294.html>.

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