Seventh Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyatso
Tibet; 18th century
Pigments on cloth
F1997.30.1 (HAR 380)
In this thangka the Seventh Dalai Lama is shown surrounded by some of his previous incarnations. According to the expanded list partially represented by this painting, there are more than ﬁfty previous incarnations of the Dalai Lama, including early emanations of Avalokiteshvara, as the Dalai Lamas are considered to also be emanations of this bodhisattva.
This painting was most likely part of a set of three thangkas. Along with another painting, it would have ﬂanked a central work that featured Avalokiteshvara and the Dalai Lama’s earliest incarnations.