16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje

16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje

BMR.6.8.281 (Transparency colour)

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Flipped Negative

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1946, 1950

Named Person

16th Karmapa


Tolung Valley Region > Tsurphu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 90 mm

The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981) wearing the black crown (shwa nag) of the Kagyud order of Buddhism seated on chair in a makeshift studio at Tsurphu monastery. There are flower pots on the ground beside him. There is a silk hanging behind him and carpets with a dragon motif on the ground.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour


Hugh E. Richardson

Flipped Negative

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Other Information

Technical Information - The cameras used to take this collection of colour slides (Dufay colour) were a Zeiss Super Ikonta and a Reflex Korelle. [KC 09/10/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Typewritten handlist entitled 'Hugh Richardson Collection, The British Museum. Photographs taken between 1936-50. Cameras: Zeiss Super Ikonta, Reflex Korelle. 300 colour slides (Dufay colour); copies made Jan. 1995.
[no.] 281. Sixteenth Karmapa Lama.' [KC 11/10/2006]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Hugh Richardson, "Memories of Tshurphu", in High Peaks, Pure Earth , 1998, London. Serindia, pp: 730-733. Richardson describes how he met the Karmapa as follows, "... I was received by the Rinpoche himself in his bright, gleaming room looking out on a little flower garden in which stalked a fine peacock. His room was full of clocks of all kinds and was hung withcages of the birds he loved - budgerigars and canaries. // The Rinpoche was then about twenty-three years old, a large, calm young man with a ready smile and a sense of humour." ( ibid . 730)

Other Information - Location: Tsurphu lies about forty miles to the west of Lhasa on the Drowo lungchu river. "
Mtshur-phu (1946-50) [is] the principal seat of the Karma Bka'-brgyud school and residence of the Zhwa-nag ("Black Hat") incarnation. [It was founded] in 1187 ... Its many buildings are closely grouped in a high enclosed wall overlooking the 'Gro-bo-lung-chu. The entrance on the west side is by way of a courtyard in which stands an inscribed pillar dating from the ninth century which has no obvious connection with the monastery." ( High Peaks, Pure Earth, H. E. Richardson, London, Serindia Publications, 1998,
p. 312).

Other Information - Tsurphu (mtshur phu) is situated in Tolung (stod lung). The monastery is the seat of the Karmapa, head of the Karma Kargyu (kar ma bka' rgyud) school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was founded by Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa (1100-1193). Richardson visited Tsurphu twice first in 1946 and a second time just before leaving Lhasa in 1950. [TS 16/2/2005]

Biographical Information - [Note that detailed information will be found on the related file named Biographies, see button at top of database] - The 16th Gyelwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981) born in Denkhok in Derge region of Eastern Tibet to a family called Athup. The Karmapa is recognised as the lead of Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was recognised as the incarnation of the 15th Karmapa by the 13th Dalai Lama who received his first religious vow. The Karmapa fled Tibet in 1959 and founded Rumtek monastery in Sikkim. He died in Chicago, USA in 1981. [TS 9/3/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje " 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_BMR.6.8.281.html>.

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