Reting Rinpoche and monk attendant

Reting Rinpoche and monk attendant

1998.131.522 (Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Hugh E. Richardson collection

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Photographer's handlist

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

August 28th 1936

Named Person

Reting Rinpoche


Lhasa > Shide Drokhang

Accession number


Image Dimensions

163 x 117

The Regent of Tibet, Reting Rinpoche, seated with an attendant monk known by some of the British Mission party as 'Simple Simon' standing next to him. In garden of Regent's summer palace, Shide Drokhang. Bird cages behind.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Mrs Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.1.9 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'C.1/9' has been written on the back of the print in pencil. 'S. Chapman Alb II' has also been written on pencil down the top left side edge of the print on the back [MS 01/04/2006]

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]: 'Regent sitting. Monk standing beside (in negative all R. in)'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 2: ‘26/3 - The Regent of Tibet (seated) with enormous monk attendant holding ceremonial scarves’ [MS 01/04/2006]

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.), 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947', Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003, p.44.

Exhibition - This image appeared in the 2003 Temporary Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers "Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947"

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.1' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Gould, Prime Minister, Regent, ‘big’ monk. They seem all to have been taken on August 27th - 28th 1936, with images in the Regent's palace being taken on the latter date [MS 01/04/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: The Regent of Tibet, Reting Rinpoche, (seated) with a monk attendant known to the British as “Simple Simon” standing by. Spencer Chapman describes this photographic session: “when we all went into the garden the Regent had no objection to being photographed, and it was all I could do to persuade his huge orderly (whom we nicknamed Simple Simon) to move about when I wanted to take some cinema films; he struck what he thought was an imposing attitude and resolutely refused to move.” In the 1936 Mission Diaries “Simple Simon” appears again: 28th August – Lhasa – in the morning they called upon the Regent at his home. “Neame and Chapman were allowed to take photos and cine of the Regent; amongst his attendants was a giant lama, some 7-feet high, and when Neame snapped him he began to talk and wave his arms. These were not threatening gestures as he was only asking for a copy of the photo”. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Description: "The woodwork round the windows is cleverly carved and painted in bright colours. Boxes of gay flowers stand on every window-sill protected from the sun by awnings of white cloth. Moreover the palace [Shide Drokhang] lies in a walled garden with well-kept lawns, and beds full of English flowers in luxuriant bloom. The Regent is extremely fond of pets. He has several cages full of birds, including a talking a 'mina' and a laughing thrush that makes the most fantastic noises in the middle of the most serious conversations" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p. 100] [MS 01/04/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Reting Rinpoche and monk attendant" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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