2001.59.8.38.1 (Film negative)
Hugh E. Richardson
Lhasa > Potala (from east)
55 x 57 mm
Negative film nitrate
Donated August 2001
The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson
Hugh E. Richardson
Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album '8' - 'Potala. Colour misc.' [on front cover] [KC 9/9/2006]
Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index '8' - Folio 37. 'from city' [KC 9/9/2006]
Other Information - Dates: This is one of a group of 25 images for which contact prints were made using the same printing out paper although with slighty different tonal qualities as some are very sepia toned. However, there is a very limited number of images in the collection printed out on this type of paper. One of the images in this group is from Samye and Richardson states that he photographed and copied this particular inscription pillar in 1949 [ A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions , Royal Asiatic Society: James G. Forlong Series, No. XXIX, p.26]. This suggests that the images may have been taken around that time [MS 17/12/2005]
Other Information - Setting: The Potala Palace is the winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas and the seat of traditional Tibetan government. The palace is know as several names by the Tibetan, Tse Podrang, ( rtse pho brang ) or more formally, Potala Podrang ( pho brang po ta la ) The first structure was established by the legendary Tibetan Emperor Song Gampo on Mt Marpori in 637. The original structure is said to have been 11 stories high and was destroyed by lightening during the reign of Emperor Trisong Detsen. The present structure was built by the 5th Dalai Lama on the foundation of the earliest ruins. The Potala is divided into two parts, the central upper part is known as the Red Palace ( pho brang mar p o) and the surrounding structure is know as the White Palace ( pho brang dkar po ). The Red Palace contains the main temple inside the palace and housed the reliquaries of the successive Dalai Lamas. The Red Palace also represents the original structure build in the 7th Century. Between 1645-1653 the 5th Dalai Lama added the White Palace and made it the seat of his government. Since the 17th Century, the White Palace has formed the main administrative offices of the Tibetan government and it became the seat of Tibetan government only in the 18th Century when the 5th Dalai Lama shifted his base from Gaden Palace in Drepung monastery to the Potala. There are said to be over 1000 rooms and over 200,000 images inside. The grounds of the Potala also housed a school known as Tse Lobdra ( rtse slob grwa ) 'The Peak School'. The students were mostly boys from aristocratic families and trained to become government officials. The palace was also the site of two printing presses the older one known as Ganden Phuntsog Parkhang ( dpa’i ldan phun phyogs par khang ) founded in the 17th Century and in 1920s the 13th Dalai Lama established the Shol Printing House ( zhol par khang ). [TS 27/6/2005]
For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Potala from the south east" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.59.8.38.1.html>.
For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.
© The Pitt Rivers Museum