Potala and Lhasa in early morning

Potala and Lhasa in early morning

1998.131.220 (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

[view record]

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

August 31st - September 2nd 1936?


Lhasa > Potala

Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 110 mm

The Lhasa valley in the early morning with the Potala in the distance. High mountains can be seen rising steeply from the plain in the background with some low-lying clouds touching their peaks. There seems to be a slight double exposure on the left hand side of the image

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman

Copy difference

Copy Neg


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.3.3 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - There are many small abrasions on the non-emulsion side of the negative in the top right hand corner. There is also a small black mark in the image, which may have been a deliberate intervention as it appears to have been placed over an object in the image on the top of the mountain. The number '3' has been printed on the negative on the left hand side [MS 2/2/2005]

Technical Information - This image was taken with a quarter plate Zeiss Nixe film or film pack camera as the negative is quarter-plate sized. See Chapman
Lhasa The Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938] for a description of the still and cine cameras that Chapman used as Mission photographer [MS 25/2/2005]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Early morning smoke over Lhasa' [MS 13/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.3.' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Lhasa and Dekyi Lingka, especially ‘air views’, as well as two images of the Ngagchen Rimpoche mounting his horse, apparently at the Dekyi Lingka. This has enabled dating of the image to the period August 31st - September 2nd 1936. These were hectic days for the Mission, and it is notable that the first images in this sequence identify the views as 'early morning', indicating how Chapman would go on long journeys into the surrounding hills even before the other mission members were fully active for the day. At times this caused problems as he was apparently prone to going too far and forgetting the time. This image is a good visual marker of this aspect of Chapman's character and behaviour. [MS 13/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Potala and Lhasa in early morning" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.220.html>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum