Yapshi Langdun with wife and daughter

Yapshi Langdun with wife and daughter

1998.131.437 (Print black & white)

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Raw Image




With tracing paper

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

January 29th 1937

Named Person



Lhasa > Potala

Accession number


Image Dimensions

173 x 117

The Prime Minister, Yapshi Lungdun, with his wife and daughter. The Longchen's wife is wearing ornate jewellery and all three are wearing brocade outer coats. Seated on a Tibetan carpet

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

6.5 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Lhasa the Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto and Windus, 1940 [view list of illustrations]

Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of the print is covered with crop and reproduction instructions. The reference '6-5' has been written on the back in pencil, as has the caption "The Prime Minister with wife and daughter". A piece of thin paper has been stuck across the back of the print and folded over the front. The caption has been repeated on the front on this paper, in capital letters, along with a number of cropping instructions [MS 25/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'PM wife and kid vert.'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 2: ‘28/2 - The Prime Minister in his throne room. Notice the thankas (religious banners) on the wall [ sic ]’ // PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 2: ‘28/3 - The Prime Minister with his wife and daughter’ [MS 25/03/2006]

Exhibition - This image appeared in the 2003 Temporary Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers "Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947"

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.), 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947', Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003, p.41.

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with '6' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Regent, the Prime Minister, Pargo Kaling and route of Barkhor. They all seem to have been taken at the end of January or early February 1937, with this particular image being taken on January 29th [MS 25/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: The Prime Minister of Tibet, Yabshi Langdün, at home with his wife and daughter. Spencer Chapman describes Gould’s first meeting with him: “He was not very easy to get on with, and remained very much the official, seated on a ceremonial divan at a higher level than the one he had prepared for Gould”. The Mission members attributed his stiffness to “youth and inexperience, rather than to any feeling of unfriendliness”. (1938:101-2) Langdün was the nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama, which might explain why he acquired such an important job at such a young age. He was greatly concerned with status and would demand a film show at his house if somebody else had already had one. He commissioned Spencer Chapman to produce this family portrait. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Description: This photograph demonstrates the development of a relationship with the Prime Minister over a period of time [see image and notes for 1998.131.436] Mission Diary entry for January 29th 1937: "[After visiting the Kashag] we all went to the Prime Minister for lunch. Chapman, who has lately had many requests of this sort, went round early to take photographs of the Prime Minister and of his wife and small daughter. Our host was extremely affable and gave us an excellent lunch, which, incidentally, included a new dish, sprouting beans, which we had not had before" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', Part XIII p. 2, written by Chapman] [MS 25/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Yapshi Langdun with wife and daughter" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.437.html>.

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