Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Milarepa in Life Story & Lineage Paintings

The first composition in the set of the Stockholm Milarepa Life Story paintings depicts him in a relaxed manner similar to what we have seen in the Choggyur Lingpa painting and somewhat in the Choying Dorje sculpture. There are three known sets in this 19th century style and composition, maybe more. The Rumtek Monastery set of the Karma Kagyu Lineage Masters (Kagyu Sertreng) depicts a relaxed Milarepa similar to what we have been looking at in these other paintings. The Rumtek set, a gift of the previous Sanggye Nyenpa Rinpoche, is based on a much earlier version likely to predate Choggyur Lingpa and even Situ Panchen in the 18th century. Looking at these paintings it is interesting to see that the artists have no trouble switching the direction of the seated posture and portraying either the right hand across the knee or the left. Choggyur Lingpa would have been aware of these iconographic depictions of the Kagyu Masters. However, his painting still seems to be the model that the other three are based on with reference to the September 15th posting.

We have posted a new Milarepa comparison page looking at Life Story Paintings and Lineage Paintings:

Milarepa Life Story Painting Set Comparison

Four Milarepa Paintings & One Sculpture (Tuesday, September 22nd)

Four Milarepa Paintings (Tuesday, September 15th)

As to the comment about possible conflation between the relaxed form of Milarepa and the form of Avalokiteshvara known as Resting in the Nature of Mind (Tibetan: spyan ras gzigs sems nyid ngal gso), I have added a new page with examples of this form for comparison.

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