Yapshi Langdun

Yapshi Langdun

2001.35.342.1 (Print Black & White)

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Evan Yorke Nepean

Date of Photo

January 29th 1937

Named Person



Lhasa > Yapshi Langdun's House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 106 mm

The Prime Minister sitting on an ornately carved bench with a carved wooden table in front of him on which is placed a teacup and three thangka paintings behind him on the wall.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Loaned August 2002

Donated by

Judy Goldthorp


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Lady Nepean

Previous Catologue Number

6.4 [view film roll]

Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'Prime Minister; ink no: 33; pencil no: 6 - 4.; from an envelope marked 'Personalities' [KC 14/08/2006]

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 in house ditto [looking up] st. v.g' [MS 14/08/2006]

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 " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.35.342.1.html>.

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