8. A ‘ngadrama’ portrait figure of Lobsang Trinley Lhundrup Choekyi Gyaltsen
Height: 25.5cm (10")
With skin the colour of gold, the ultimate colour reflecting the purity of the state of an enlightened Buddha, the stylised figure of the Tenth Panchen Lama (d. 1989) clad in monk’s robes with the ‘ngadrama’ or ‘just like me’ portrait face demonstrates the ongoing traditions of Tibetan Buddhism – that of displaying an image of a deity or a revered lama on an altar as an aid to meditation. Such images were also the object of devotion and appealed to for help in daily life and were believed to be imbued with the powers of the being depicted. “Lama portraits were said to perform (such types) of miracles too” “the tradition is by no means extinct” (Heather Stoddard, p.46 Portraits of the Masters chapter: Fourteen Centuries of Tibetan Portraiture – Serindia Ltd and Oliver Hoare. In modern times such portraits have tended to be replaced by photographs.