View of Lhasa valley

View of Lhasa valley

1998.131.222 (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?



Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 111 mm

Looking down on the Lhasa Valley with Lhasa, the Potala and Chakpori below. The photograph was taken from an elevated position on a nearby mountain side. The main routes into the town and around the valley are clearly visible, as is the path of the Kyichu river. The photograph reveals the general layout of Lhasa town and the proximity of cultivation sites and wooded parks, estates and public places across a wide area. The high peaks surrounding Lhasa can be seen rising steeply in the background with a few low-lying clouds touching their peaks

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

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

C.3.8 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Lhasa the Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto and Windus, 1940 [view list of illustrations]

Other Information

In Negative - There are many small abrasions on the upper edge of the right hand side of the negative. The number '8' also seems to have been printed on the negative near the bottom of the left hand side [MS 2/2/2005]

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]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: 1998.131.222 & 1998.131.224 may at first glance appear to be identical. However, they were clearly taken from the same position a few seconds apart because of the very slight variations in the cloud formations above the mountain tops in the distance [MS 13/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "View of Lhasa valley" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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

© The Pitt Rivers Museum