2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1938-40 or c. 1950


Gyantse > Palkhor Chode

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 x 60 mm

View of Gyantse town and fortress, possibly from the west.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - 'Gyantse' is written in Richardson's writing on the reverse of the print in pencil. [KC 24/2/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The date 1950 found on the reverse of the print may be an error and 1948 - 50 may be more accurate. [KC 24/2/2006]

Other Information - Background: Richardson mentions this site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London: Serindia Publications, 1998, p. 325, " ... the thriving town of Gyantse (Rgyal-rtse) (1936-50), well-placed for trade with both Shigatse (Gzhis-ka-rtse) and Lhasa and on the route to India. It is rich in art and architecture of the fifteenth century created by the Gtsang prince,Rab-brtan kun-bzang 'phags-pa. He enlarged and embellished the temple founded by his father near the rdzong which crowns the summit of the great rock overhanging the town. But his greatest achievements were the enlargement or virtual reconstruction of the Dpal-'khor Chos-sde temple and the building of the magnificent Sku-'bum mchod-rten (1936-50). The former is the heart of a community of monastic college residences spread over an extensive hillside enclosed by a fortified wall. Although the Sa-skya-pa scholl originally predominated, all other religious schools were represented here."

Other Information - Location: F Spencer Chapman describes the fortress at Gyantse in Lhasa: The Holy City, 1938, London: Chatto and Windus, "To reach the dzong we rode up and up a rough roadway. Massive wooden gates with crudely stuffed wild yaks and mastiffshanging in the rafters as emblems of ferocity.//... The dzong is full of small monasteries. ... The dzong which is half ruined, is built tier upon tier to the summit of the steep rock; ... Went right to the top. There are no staircases so that we had to pull the ladder up from roof to roof. ... Superb view:green barley fields, blue winding rivers, russet and sienna hills. The big monastery of Tse-chen lies on the southern side of a rocky hill a mile or two to the north-east." (pp. 54-5) [KC 11/2/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The contact print for this image is one of a group of sixteen images that were all developed as a batch as they share the number '601' printed in red ink. The back of 2001. in this batch says ‘Nyethang 1950’, but many of the image negatives have been included in a negative album labelled ‘1936-40’. Richardson seems to have acquired his Reflex Korelle camera with which he could take 6x6 negatives in 1938 [MS 22/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Gyantse" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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