Painting in Norbu Lingka stables

Painting in Norbu Lingka stables

BMR. (Album Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Hugh E. Richardson

Date of Photo

February 16th 1937


Lhasa > Norbu Lingka > Stables

Accession number


Fresco of an old monk leading a horse carrying a flaming jewel ornament (Cintamani) in the stables of the Norbu Lingka. The Horse (Tamchog) carrying the wish-granting jewel (representing the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). This image is associated with the idea or realization of material wishes. The same emblem appears on Prayer Flags where he is known as the Wind Horse (lung-ta).

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Donated to the British Museum in 1986 by Hugh E. Richardson

Previous Catologue Number

D.16 [view film roll]

Related Collections

F. S. Chapman Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The print has been developed using Velox printing out paper and the trade name, in an oval, is printed on the back of the image. The batch development number '631' has also been printed on the back in red ink [MS 21/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'D' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Potala and dancers at the Potala, Norbu Lingka animals, dance at Nechung. Those images taken at Norbu Lingka seem to have been taken on February 16th 1937, the day before the mission party left Lhasa [MS 21/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: "Perhaps the most surprising thing in all the Norbhu Lingka is the Dalai Lama's stables. The stalls are arranged along three sides of a cobbled courtyard and around another block in the centre. On each side of the entrance gateways are two paintings, the Mongolian leading a tiger, and, in a style that recalls an Italian primitive, a man followed by an amiable-looking elephant laden with symbolic jewels. These paintings one has seen elsewhere, but over every stall is the most enchanting fresco painted in bright colours on the plaster of the wall. Many of these are equestrian subjects ... One of the most interesting shows the anatomy of the horse. ... Other paintings illustrate Chinese proverbs and folk-tales: four figures are trying to move something that looks like an enormous peach; a boatload of people crossing a lake while an old man sits wrapped in thought, and a wisp of cloud flowing from his brain is developed to form a vision of the Buddha. // All these frescoes, though slightly splashed and discoloured, are marvellously executed and must be the work of first-class artists ... these equestrian studies exhibit a rate economy of line and colour and are quite unlike other work I saw in Lhasa" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p. 188] [MS 21/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Painting in Norbu Lingka stables" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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