Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Margalit Slovin

18th century
Gilt bronze
H: 11.5; W: 8 cm
Gift of Marcel Lorber, London
Accession number: B82.0544
The Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) order, to which all Dalai Lamas belong, is the largest and most powerful religious order in Tibet. It was founded in the early 15th century by Tsongkhapa, the foremost teacher-monk of his time. Tsongkhapa is always shown wearing a lama’s formal robes and the yellow teacher’s hat. Here his hands, in a gesture of intellectual discussion (vitarka mudra), hold the stalks of two lotuses, symbol of purity. He is seated on a pillow, the gilt bronze incised to imitate a richly embroidered fabric.

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir