Yapshi Langdun

Yapshi Langdun

1998.131.440 (Print colour)

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

January 29th 1937

Named Person



Lhasa > Yapshi Langdun's House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

126 x 88

The Prime Minister, Yapshi Lungdun. Full length portrait, possibly taken outside his house in Lhasa. He is wearing a brocade chuba or outer garment

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print colour

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Technical Information - This print has been produced in reverse and should be flipped to see the image the correct way round. This is probably because it has been printed directly from a flipped colour transparency. Many transparencies became flipped in this way when they were copied for reproduction purposes [MS 07/04/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: The Prime Minister of Tibet, Yabshi Langdün, at home. 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 " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.440.html>.

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