Wheel of Life, Kargyu Monastery

Wheel of Life, Kargyu Monastery

1998.131.135 (Contact Print)

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Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

[view record]

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

August 2nd 1936


Chumbi Valley Region > Kargyu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

61 x 88 mm

Painting of the Wheel of Life at Kargyu Monastery.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

CA.31 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'CA.31' has been written on the back of the print in pencil, as has another number in the bottom elft hand corner ['135?] which is partially indecipherable. The caption 'The Wheel of Life Wall painting in Yatung Monastery' has also been written on the back. This is an error, although Chapman may have later referenced it in this way because of the close proximity of Kargyu to Yatung [MS 09/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written handlist of negatives taken whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Photo of wheel of life painting [Kargyu Monastery]'; Manuscript archive PRM: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 4: ‘23/3 - The Wheel of Life. Farnons symbolical Buddhist painting’ [MS 09/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: This image was included in the draft album prepared in Lhasa during the 1936 Mission, from which the official record of photographs was selected. It is one of a group of negatives containing images of the Residency, Gangtok and the Mission party preparing to go to Lhasa, the Maharanee of Sikkim, journey near Karponang, Changu Lake, Champithang and Chumbi Valley, Kargyu monastery and Yatung. At the top of the list is the comment ‘8, 9, 13, 17, 19, 20, 28, 31, 33, 36, 37 already enlarged 4x6. 3 copies’ [MS 09/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: "[The Abbot of Kargyu] was extremely affable and gave us tea, cakes made with maize-meal, and russet apples grown in the valley below. The room was painted everywhere with vivid colours, and on the two walls were richly coloured religious paintings hanging in frames of silk brocade. One side of the room was filled with holy books and innumerable images of Buddha in gaily coloured pigeon-holes" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p.26]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Wheel of Life, Kargyu Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.135.html>.

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