Gyantse monastery with horses in foreground

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2001. (Print)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1938-40 or c. 1950


Gyantse > Gyantse dzong

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 60 mm

View of Gyantse monastery from the south taken from a field to the west of the town. The twenty-foot wall running along the top of the rocky spur above the monastery can clearly be seen as can the Palkhor Chode (dpal 'khor chos sde) temple and the circular Kumbum (sku 'bum) shrine towards the right of the image. There are grazing horses in the foreground.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - On the reverse of print, 'dpal 'khor chos sde Gyantse' is written in pencil in Richardson's handwriting, 'Gyantse Dpal 'khor chos sde' in ink in Richardson's handwriting, '601' is stamped in red ink and 'Velox' in an oval in black. [KC 25/2/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - '13,14,15,16. Lhasa city from east.' (Typewritten list of contents in the album by Richardson. At the top of the page 'Book 8 - Z' is handwritten. The heading for this list is, 'Album in case, marked 'Z' on case. The list of contents in album should be ignored. Following is the proper list.') [KC 10/2/2006]

Other Information - Background: Richardson mentions this site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London: Serindia Publications, 1998, p. 325, " ... the thriving town of Gyantse (Rgyal-rtse) (1936-50), well-placed for trade with both Shigatse (Gzhis-ka-rtse) and Lhasa and on the route to India. It is rich in art and architecture of the fifteenth century created by the Gtsang prince,Rab-brtan kun-bzang 'phags-pa. He enlarged and embellished the temple founded by his father near the rdzong which crowns the summit of the great rock overhanging the town. But his greatest achievements were the enlargement or virtual reconstruction of the Dpal-'khor Chos-sde temple and the building of the magnificent Sku-'bum mchod-rten (1936-50). The former is the heart of a community of monastic college residences spread over an extensive hillside enclosed by a fortified wall. Although the Sa-skya-pa scholl originally predominated, all other religious schools were represented here."

Other Information - Location: F Spencer Chapman describes a view of the monastery at Gyantse in
Lhasa: The Holy City, 1938, London: Chatto and Windus, "At the other end of town, on the southern slopes of a rocky amphitheatre, are the various buildings of the Parkor Choide monastery, surrounded by a twenty-foot wall which runs along the top of the rocky spur. The dzong and the monastery, from the summits of the only two eminences of the plain, completely dominate the low white-walled houses of the town, which lie on either side of a rocky saddle connecting them." (p. 49) [KC 11/2/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The contact print for this image is one of a group of sixteen images that were all developed as a batch as they share the number '601' printed in red ink. The back of 2001. in this batch says ‘Nyethang 1950’, but many of the image negatives have been included in a negative album labelled ‘1936-40’. Richardson seems to have acquired his Reflex Korelle camera with which he could take 6x6 negatives in 1938 [MS 22/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Gyantse monastery with horses in foreground" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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