In my recently published article, I analyzed in detail some portraits of the first and second rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus or Bogdo Gegens, the highest Buddhist representatives of Outer Mongolia, from the seventeenth century forward.
A comparison of paintings and sculptures has shown that for the faces of Buddhist masters Mongolian Buddhist artists primarily followed the Tibetan and Chinese conventions of portrayal from life, but for the representation of their bodies they adhered to the iconographic standards of the Indian tradition. In order to achieve life-like resemblance, Mongolian and Tibetan artists often relied on Buddhist monks, aristocrats or common people as models.
A very important prototype for the reproduction of the physical appearance of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus were their mummified bodies. In his book Mongolia and the Mongols, Aleksei Pozdneyev describes in detail the process of mummification applied to all rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus after their death:
The remains of the deceased [Khutukhtu] are … not cut open and are not dissected; they are only formed into the pose of a man sitting in an attitude of prayer …, and then they rub (it) with various kinds of perfumes and alcoholic fluids, and they finally coat it with a compound of salt and other substances.
After the body has dried up completely after two or three months, the salt compound is removed. Then, the face and the unclothed parts (head and hands) are covered with gilding. The eyebrows, mustache, and lips are sketched on the top of the facial gilding, but, the eyes are left closed. The corpse in this particular shape is called a saria (or sharil according to Pozdneyev). Once in this state, the entire body is installed in a silver reliquary stūpa that is placed inside the temple. (Fig. 1)
In this paper, I will continue to investigate some portraits of the third to the eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus (Figs. 2-25) in terms of their iconographic features, the portraiture and the style of the paintings and sculptures.
Literature Sources and Illustrations
As in the first part of this article, I have based my study on the life stories of the third to eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus included in Aleksei Pozdneyev and the translation of their hagiographies by Charles Bawden. Further sources on some hagiographies in Mongolian are cited in Tusltem such as for example Bančin erdeni-ece gening-yin sangvari abuba, Jebtsundambaluvsantsultemjigmeddambiijantsanbalsambuugiin tsadig tuuh Galbarvas modon, Luvsanperleenamjil, Doluduγar düri-yin següder jergečegsen ba baγsi lharamba Aγvang odser, tübed gačin čorji Baldanγombu nar-tu čola, ečige Miγmar-tu jingse otuγ-a zerge sangnaγsan tuqai, Doluduγar düri-yin Jibjundamba qutuγtu-yin jalaraγsan tuqai, Jibjundamba blam-a-yin törül üy-e-yin neres kiged oron dačang bayiγuluγsan temdeglel or Jibjundamba qutuγtu siregen-dü jalaraγsan niγuča teüke.The representations of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus that I will discuss are illustrated in Tsybikov (Figs. 2, 4, 6, 10), Tsultem (Figs. 9, 13, 21, 22, 23), Bongrad-Lewina (Fig. 8), Hummel (Figs. 17, 18), Pozdneyev (Fig. 19) and Grünwedel (Fig. 20). I photographed some of the portraits (Figs. 3, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15) during my exploration of the Buddhist thangkas of the Leder collection in the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart/ Germany for my master thesis and at an exhibition of Mongolian Buddhist art and manuscripts at the National History Museum in Ulaanbaatar/ Mongolia taking place during the IATS XVIII Conference in July 2013.
Some General Notes on the Third to Eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus
Although they were the highest spiritual representatives of Khalkha/ Outer Mongolia, some of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus, such as the seventh (Figs. 12-18) and the eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Bogdh Khan (1869/70-1924) (Figs. 19-25), led quite eccentric and worldly lives that were not in accordance with the expectations of a Buddhist monk or a priest. This was partly related to the increasingly political function that these later Bogdo Gegens in particular held in Mongolian history. The eighth Bogdo Gegen was declared the supreme political authority in Outer Mongolia when the Chinese Qing dynasty ended in 1911. From then on, he was both a religious and a secular ruler. Therefore, he was even allowed to marry twice. When his second wife Dondogdulam, also known as Ekh Dagin (Fig. 23, detail), died in 1923, he married the wife of a wrestler. As with her husband, she is said to have had numerous lovers and eventually died from syphilis.
Most of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus died at a very young age. The sixth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Blo bzang dpal ldan bstan pa (Mong. Luvsantüvdenchoyjijaltsan) (1843-1848) (Figs. 10, 11), for example, did not even reach the age of six. The third Bogdo Gegen (Figs. 2, 3) died at 15, the seventh at 18, and the fifth (Figs. 6-9) at 27. Only the fourth Bogdo Gegen (Figs. 4, 5) turned 38 years old, while the eighth reached the age of 54.
The ninth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu 'Jam dpal rnam grol chos kyi rgyal mtshan was born in 1932 in Lhasa, Tibet and died in 2012. His rediscovery had to be kept secret until the collapse of the Communist regime in 1991.
The Selection of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus
The rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus were chosen by the Dalai Lamas, who were declared the supreme religious and political authorities of Tibet by the Mongolian ruler Altan Khan (1507-1582) in the sixteenth century. Beginning in the seventeenth century, the Chinese Qing emperors had to confirm the choice of the rebirths. To prevent the Khalka Mongols from gaining too much power and political autonomy, the Manchu court always opted for a Tibetan as the new incarnation of a deceased rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu.
After the death of a rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu, the Khalka officials of Ikh Khüree (Urga) sent a courier to the Chinese emperor in Beijing to inform him about the death of the Bogdo Gegen. A few months later, another Mongolian delegation was sent to Tibet in order to ask the Dalai Lama to perform the death rites for the deceased Bogdo Gegen and select the new incarnation. The Dalai Lama, together with the Panchen Lama and other high lamas of the Gelug school (Tib. dGe dlugs pa), chose three boys who were born at approximately the same time as the conscious rebirths of the body, the speech, and the mind of the former rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu. After this procedure, an additional committee decided which of the three boys, who were about one and a half years old at the time, should be sent to Mongolia. This election was performed by writing the names of the candidates on slips of paper.
After the selection, the Chinese emperor and later the officials in Ikh Khüree were informed of the result. Once this was complete, the Mongol delegation staying in Tibet would be permitted to return to Mongolia with the new rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu. The selection of a new Bogdo Gegen was a very expensive undertaking, which made the Khalkha Mongols hope in vain that the new Bogdo Gegen would be born in Mongolia one day.
The Representation of the Third rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu (1758-1773)
In accordance with a decree by the Chinese Qing emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), which stated that all future rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus were to be found in Tibet, the third Bogdo Gegen Ye shes bstan pa'i nyi ma (Mong. Ishdambiynyam) (1758-1773) was the first Tibetan among the Khalkha Mongol rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus.
As described in his hagiography, the birth of the third rJe btsun dam pa Khutukthu was accompanied by many signs, such as rainbows, rare flowers, and his parents’ auspicious dreams. When the baby boy was only a few months old, he is reported to have already shown the behavior of a Buddhist teacher (Tib. bla ma, lama) as he pretended to read sacred texts or sit on a high chair and bless people. Once, he is said to have even rejected a blue jacket with the following words: “I shall not put on the dress which laymen wear!” Until then the boy had not spoken a word. All his family was amazed, and they decided to dress him in the yellow robes of a lama.
When he was five years old, the Bogdo Gegen was taken to Mongolia to be introduced to the Chinese emperor. The boy is said to have answered the emperor’s questions in fluent Mongolian. This incident was, of course, interpreted as a sign that he was the righteous rebirth of his Mongolian predecessors. Another proof occurred when he received an initiation by the second lCang skya Khutukhtu Rol pa'i rdo rje (1717-1786), the highest Buddhist authority of Inner Mongolia. During the ritual, representations of stūpas appeared on his hands.
Unfortunately, the third Bogdo Gegen did not live beyond fifteen years. Shortly before his death, the Chinese emperor had a dream in which he saw the young Bogdo Gegen riding towards Tibet. In fact, soon afterwards, news came that the Bodgo Gegen had died in Ikh Khüree. Thereupon, as a gift to the Ikh Khüree lamas, the emperor sent a portrait of the Bogdo Gegen made by Chinese painters when he visited his court in Jehol. When he gave the portrait to the delegates, the emperor allegedly said: “The poor hutukhtu! How young he was when he died?! Now, his next rebirth will probably appear in the province of Tsang!”
Iconographic Prototype 1
A portrait of the third rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu is depicted in black-and-white in the book by Tsybikov. (Fig. 2) The representation is part of a portrait set of the seven rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus (Figs. 4, 6, 11, 13) and it shows the third Bogdo Gegen sitting in a full meditative posture (Skt. vajraparyaṅka, padmaparyaṅka, dhyānāsana; Tib. rdo rje skyil krung) on a pile of five multi-colored meditation cushions. He is dressed in traditional threefold monk’s robes consisting of an inner or lower robe (Tib. mthang gos), an outer robe (Tib. bla gos) and a coat (Tib. snam sbyar). On his head, he wears a pointed yellow paṇḍita cap with side-flaps. This hat designates him as member of the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition. He holds both hands in his lap in the meditative gesture (Skt. dhyānamudrā; Tib. mnyam bzhag phyag rgya).
He has a schematized round face with a broad nose, his nostrils are only defined by a single line, and his head is surrounded by a transparent halo.
The backrest his throne has two curved side parts with dragon heads as end pieces. The cloth covering the backrest is ornamented with scattered flower rosettes. The coat of the Bogdo Gegen has a stylized cloud pattern applied in fine, dynamic brushstrokes. The fronts of the seat cushions are adorned with variations of tendrils, clouds and geometrical designs. The folds of his robes are defined by flowing lines.
The background is filled with a dark sky in which the sun (right) and the moon (left) shine and thick clouds gather on the left and right corners of the image.
In front of the throne is a small table with ritual implements and offerings such as the holder for a butter lamp (?), a double drum (Skt. ḍamaru), a dharma-wheel, three jewels, and a jug. The sides of the table are reduced in perspective.
Iconographic Prototype 2
A simple line drawing/ woodcut print which also belongs to a set including the portraits of the fifth, sixth and seventh rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu (Figs. 7, 11, 14) shows the third Bogdo Gegen sitting on a pile of five cushions (Fig. 3). He raises his right hand to the level of his heart in the gesture of granting refuge (Skt. śaraṇagamana-mudrā; Tib. skyabs sbyin gyi phyag rgya) or religious discourse (Skt. vitarka-mudrā; Tib. chos ‘chad phyag rgya). His left hand rests in a meditative gesture in his lap as he holds a long-life vase (Tib. tshe bum) filled with the nectar (Skt. amṛta; Tib. bdud rtsi) of immortality and a wish-fulfilling plant (Skt. kalpavṛksha; Tib. dpag bsam gyi shing). The folds of his robes fall in cascading lines rendered in a skillful and lively manner. He has an oval face with a slightly protruding chin. His eyes are narrow and almond-shaped, and they are placed closely together. His nose is indicated by one single line. His mouth is small whereas his upper and under lips are equally distinctive. The space between his nose and mouth are highlighted by two vertical lines.
The third Bogdo Gegen (Figs. 2, 3) is portrayed with a yellow paṇḍita cap. He holds both hands in the meditative gesture (Fig. 2); or he performs the gesture of granting refuge or teaching with his right hand in front of his heart while the left hand rests in his lap in the meditative gesture. In addition, he holds a long-life vase with a plant inside (Fig. 3).
The Representation of the Fourth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu(1775-1813)
Against all hopes of the Khalka, the next incarnation of the rJe btsun dam pa Kutukhtu was again found among the Tibetans. The fourth Bogdo Gegen Blo bzang thub bstan dbang phyug (Mong. Luvsantüvdenvanchug) was even the cousin of the seventh Dalai Lama sKal bzang rgya mtsho (1708-1775). It was from him that the new Bogdo Gegen received the monk’s vows in the Potala Palace in Lhasa. At the age of three, he moved from Lhasa to Ikh Khüree where he was officially enthroned as the fourth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu in the presence of khans, lamas, and civilians.
According to his biographies, the fourth Bogdo Gegen was mainly focused on matters of faith. Pozdneyev mentions that the lamas of Ikh Khüree used to call him doshkin-düri, which means “angry aspect”, as he forced the lamas to study and do all sorts of things, and “… sometimes [he] punished idlers and persons who did not fulfill his commands with a cudgel [wielded by] his own hands.”
Moreover, he commissioned the construction and renovation of many Buddhist temples and meditation centers. These he decorated with fine Buddha sculptures that he had brought from Tibet or which he also commissioned, along with an edition of the Kangyur (Tib. bka' 'gyur) “written in gold on black parchment.”
In 1797, he visited the Amur-bayasgulangtu monastery:
It is said that it was on this trip that the Gegen opened the suburgan [stūpa] of Öndür-gegen [first rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Zanabazar] and ordered the finest painters to make a portrait from his remains; in the following year, 1798, he prepared, on the basis of this portrait, the first idol of the Khalkha khubilgan [Tib. sprul sku, Tulku] of the Jebtsun Damba hutukhtu earlier mentioned.On his journey back from Beijing to his homeland, the fourth Bogdo Gegen fell ill with bronchitis. After a short visit at the Chinese Buddhist pilgrimage mountain Wutai shan he died in 1813 at the age of 38 from “galloping consumption”. His embalmed remains were placed in a reliquary stūpa that was sent via post stations to the Amur-bayasgulangtu monastery in 1816.
Among the Mongols very few recollections are preserved concerning the fifth Gegen, without a doubt because he made no special impression whatsoever and was completely without character as a personage, having nothing of his own and being fully subject to the influence of the lamas around him. An inclination toward laziness, the absence of any system in his manner of acting, meager ambition, and a wretched servility and shyness of some kind, it seems, make up the only perceptible features of his orders, reports, and acts … Neither the building of new monasteries or temples nor the acquisition of new burkhans [Buddha images] and noms [religious books] nor the establishment of new khurals [assemblies] or religious ceremonies, nothing of this sort was accomplished; no petitions of any sort of relations of Peking or Tibet were undertaken either.
Whereas, in the hagiographies he is described as “an accomplished scholar and writer in his own right, whose writings were ‘pure and melodious…clear and deep…for many, kind and affectionate. Souls are attracted [to his words]. All would mention his wonderful words of faith as of a genuine teacher and of a relative friend…’”
As the Qing did not see any threat in the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu, he was not even invited to court by the Chinese emperor. Indeed, his request for an audience was declined.
Later, the fifth Bogdo Gegen became involved in a bribery affair when Chinese merchants of Ikh Khüree offered him money for presenting their interests to the emperor. Since the Bogdo Gegen failed in completing this task, the merchants accused him of fraud. This provoked a heavy fine, as Pozdneyev writes: “In order to suppress the affair which had arisen in this manner, they say, it cost the Gegen as much as one hundred fifty thousand taels…”
The fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu died in 1842 at the age of 27. He was entombed in the Ganden monastery in Ikh Khüree. Pozdneyev writes that the reliquary stūpa with his embalmed body is still there, situated in a special small temple. He describes that the sharil, the mummy of the fifth Bogdo Gegen holds a book on his knees. In fact, he is depicted with a book on most of the paintings I have investigated (Figs. 6, 7, 8, 9). Nevertheless, his iconographic representation varies in all the pictures that I have taken into account (Figs. 6-9).
Iconographic Prototype 1
In the portrait published in Tsybikov’s book, the fifth Bogdo Gegen wears a yellow paṇḍita hat and the threefold monk robes (Fig. 6). His coat is decorated with tendrils and the front side of the upmost sitting cushion features a wavy acanthus- or palm-shaped plant decoration. The backrest of the throne has a curved elaborate design and ends in a tripartite panel at the top, which recalls the cloud-like shape of a lingzhi-mushroom.
The Bogdo Gegen performs the teaching gesture or the gesture of granting refuge with his right hand to the front of his heart, while his left hand rests in a meditative posture in his lap holding a Tibetan book. The rendering of his face resembles figs. 2 and 4. On the side table in front are the same objects as in fig. 4 with an additional bunch of jewels and a bell (Skt. ghaṇṭa; Tib. dril bu).
Iconographical Prototype 2
In the line drawing/ woodcut print of the Natural History Museum in Ulaanbaatar (Fig. 7), the fifth Bogdo Gegen performs the gesture of teaching/ granting refuge with the right hand while holding a begging bowl and a Tibetan text in his left hand, which rests on his lap in the meditative gesture. The style of the hat, garments, the design of the throne and the facial features resemble the portrait of the third Bogdo Gegen (Fig. 3).
Iconographical Prototype 3
In a Mongolian thangka (Fig. 8) from the nineteenth century, the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu sits on a simple throne seat of cushions and a rounded backrest decorated with a fine golden pattern of plant volutes and framed by a white honor scarf (Tib. kha btags). This simple throne rests on a rectangular, stepped pedestal ornamented with the same flower motifs as the seat. In addition, two Tibetan white lions with golden manes crouch in the woodwork. Behind the seat a more complex curved throne construction with tendril carvings and jewel decoration arises. It is painted in orange and brown and is covered with a golden stylized cloud pattern. Its top panel again has the shape of a lingzhi-mushroom on which a small thangka with the representation of the Buddha Vajradhāra (Tib. rdo rje ’chang) is fixed. His throne is surrounded by a large plant with pinkish lotus or peony buds and jagged leaves in two different shades of green.
The Bogdo Gegen is dressed in threefold lama robes. His inner robe is ocher-colored, long-sleeved and has a black hem with white fur (?) on its collar and sleeves. His outer robe is orange and adorned with a large lotus emblem in the middle, scattered curls, dots and a strip of geometrical, golden patterns. His coat is yellow with a blue lining and billowing folds. On his head, the fifth Bogdo Gegen wears his characteristic black hat (Fig. 5).
The Bogdo Gegen is painted in frontal view. He has a broad face with a big nose and small eyes that stick very close to each other. The dot-shaped pupils focus the viewer. He also has long ears and fleshy, thick lips. His head is surrounded by a green halo.
With his right hand he performs the gesture of granting refuge/ teaching to the heart level and he holds a long-stemmed pink and white lotus flower in it. The blossom has a yellow stamen, jagged leaves in two different shades of green and a prickly stem. His left hand rests in a meditative posture on his lap as he holds a book and a long-life vase with a wish-fulfilling plant in it. The plant is hung with silver strings and three mango fruits are growing in it.
On the left and right side of the throne, two monks are standing. They are depicted in half-profile. Their robes are of the same color and show the same decoration as the Bogdo Gegen’s clothes. Besides that, they wear Mongolian boots (Tib. hor lham/ sog lham). They present a maṇḍala, a golden ritual vase, and white honor scarves as offerings.
In front of the throne stands a table with an orange and pink table cloth that is ornamented with a loosely applied design of clouds. Its sides are reduced in perspective, by which an impression of depth is created. On the table, a range of offerings and ritual objects such as a big blue bowl with lemons (Skt. jambhara; Tib. bi dza pu ra ka) symbolizing abundance, a ritual vase with peacock feathers, a white conch filled with a yellow fluid (supposedly saffron nectar), a tea vessel (?) and another golden bowl are placed side by side.
The background is filled out by a plain, dark-blue sky with pastel-colored clouds in pink. The landscape is covered by steep green hills. These are lined by a dark green strip of plants that has been applied using very fine dots of the brush.
Iconographical Prototype 4
An exceptionally exquisite painting by the Mongolian artist Agvaansharav, the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu’s designated artist, in the Fine Arts Museum in Ulaanbaatar (Fig. 9) shows the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu sitting on a multi-layered throne construction. The “simple” throne seat consists of a rectangular blue sitting cushion decorated with a very delicate zig-zag pattern. It is covered with an orange and red cloth with a similar decoration. The backrest is draped with a blue fabric embroidered with a refined golden pattern of Chinese dragons and jewel strings. The toran̩a (throne arch) encompassing the throne seat has the shape of meandering dragons glowing orange with golden scales and tendril tails painted in a monochrome style. Some of the dragons’ heads are crowned with blue jewels. In their claws they carry various precious objects such as strings of multi-colored pearls, golden vessels and jewels they present to the Bogdo Gegen. They are rendered in such a naturalistic and masterly manner that they seem to have become alive and float in the air. Incorporated in the throne pedestal are two Tibetan lions with shining, golden eyes. They elegantly carry the upper part of the woodwork with their paws and are directly looking at the Bogdo Gegen. Their snouts stick out of the frieze which leaves an impression of spatial depth. Special emphasis is put on the execution of the minute metalwork embellishing the pedestal and the garud̩a heads at the end of the upper part.
The throne is surrounded by rainbow-hued, lingzhi-shaped clouds and a network of pink, green and orange flower buds growing on winding branches of bushes. The leaves have the same jagged shape as in fig. 8 and are painted in green and blue shades. They even serve as a support for the lotus thrones of the meditational Buddha deities (Skt. iṣṭa-devatā; Tib. yi dam) Kālacakra (Tib. dus kyi 'khor lo) on the left-hand corner and Cakrasaṃvara (Tib. ’khor lo bde mchog) in union with his female partner Vajravarāhī (Tib. rdo rje phag mo) on the right-hand corner of the picture.
The Bogdo Gegen is depicted frontally and in a slight top view. He has youthful and regular facial features and a radiating light complexion. His expression appears open and determined. A turquoise halo encircles his head. He wears a yellow cap with a red lining and Tibetan monk robes. The inner robe is dark red and golden and ornamented with scattered flowers. The outer robe is of a bright orange color with a rectangular pattern. The coat is of ocher color, has a green lining and a decorative red and black band with a blue cross pattern. It is draped in a circle around the hip of the Bogdo Gegen and its billowing folds are symmetrical.
In front of his heart, the fifth Bogdo Gegen performs the gesture of granting refuge or teaching and in his left hand he holds a Tibetan text and a long-life vase with a wish-fulfilling tree of white blossoms. A pile of Tibetan books (left), a round basket (Skt. pit̩aka; Tib. za ma tog) (right) and a dark-blue begging bowl (left) are illustrated next to and behind the Bogdo Gegen.
Over his head and incorporated in the top of the throne construction is a small portrait of a dGe lugs pa lama. He is seated on a similarly elaborate throne resting on a white lotus flower. He wears the same style of hat and dress as the Bogdo Gegen and also performs the teaching gesture with his right hand. In his left hand, he holds a Tibetan text in his lap. Behind him towers a pyramidal pile of Tibetan texts.
On the table in front of the throne, which is covered with a light blue and red cloth, the eight auspicious things (Skt. aṣṭamaṅgaladravya; Tib. bkra shis rdzas brgyad) and several ritual objects such as a bell, a double drum, a skull cup, a golden dharma-wheel, ritual and water flasks, a vase with white lotus flowers, a tea vessel, and a bowl with food or sweets are arranged. In front of the table, the eight auspicious symbols (Skt. aṣṭamaṅgala; Tib. bkra shis rtags brgyad) (left), the five objects of sensual pleasures (Skt. pañcakāmaguṅa, Tib. ‘dod yon lnga) and the seven possessions of a universal monarch (Skt. saptaratna, Tib. rgyal srid rin chen sna bdun) (right) are depicted amidst white clouds.
This extraordinary portrait of the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu is one of the rare master-pieces in Tibetan and Mongolian art. Particularly striking are the high realism and degree of three-dimensionality of the painting, which is mainly created by an above-perspective, the visual reduction of cushions’ or table’ sides, the circular drapery of the coat, the staggered placement of objects such as the offerings or the items surrounding the Bogdo Gegen and the overlapping of elements such as the dragons’ bodies or the lions and the throne pedestal.
As Uranchimeg Tsultem argues, the artist Agvaansharav deliberately uses the styles from three cultures, which Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli terms as “International Gelupga style”. He neglects the Mongolian design of monastic robes, and instead renders the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu in Tibetan garments, wearing a yellow hat and carrying the major attributes of Tibetan Buddhism. Besides that, he depicts Gelug-favored deities and Chinese imperial indices such as the dragons. According to Tsultem, the artist “aims to be visually fluent, and thereby properly read, in all three cultures” (Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese).
For the representation of the fifth Bogdo Gegen (Figs. 6-9) several iconographic types exist.
In fig. 6, he raises his right hand in the gesture of granting refuge or teaching in front of his heart. In his left hand resting in his lap in the meditative gesture he holds a Tibetan book. He wears a paṇḍita hat. In fig. 7, he performs the same hand gestures. In his left he holds a book and a begging bowl. He wears a paṇḍita cap, too. In fig. 8, he performs the gesture of granting refuge/ teaching with his right hand in which he also holds a long-stemmed lotus flower. His left hand rests in his lap in the meditative gesture as he holds a Tibetan book and a long-life vase with a plant inside. He wears a black hat and Mongolian-style robes. Fig. 9 shows him with the same gestures and attributes, however, the lotus flower was omitted. He wears a yellow dGe lugs pa hat. His face is bright and youthful and he has slightly protruding ears. He is surrounded by various items such as a monk’s stuff, a khaṭvāṅga, a bowl and Tibetan texts.
The Representations of the Sixth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu (1842-1848)
The sixth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Blo bzang dpal ldan bstan pa (Mong. Luvsantüvdenchoyjijaltsan) was born in Central Tibet as the son of a donkey shepherd at the end of 1842 when the fifth Bogdo Gegen had died.
Altogether, nearly five thousand Khalkhas went to Tibet to meet the new Khutukhtu. It cost the Mongols nearly twenty wang taels of silver, that is, approximately four hundred thousand silver rubles, in order to make contributions to the monasteries here, to present gifts to the Dalai Lama and the Pan chen-erdeni [Panchen lama], and finally to return to Khalkha.Unfortunately, the young Bogdo Gegen caught smallpox and died before he was even six years old. His remains were interred in a gilded reliquary stūpa in Shajini-badaragulukchimonastery.
He would frequently remove himself to his palace outside the city, and there he spent his time with somewhat more freedom than in the city. Gay drinking bouts, tobacco, and finally the company of indecent women – this all gave rise to a large number of tales about the various episodes in the hutukhtu’s life.The excessive behavior of the Bogdo Gegen finally caused his lamas to ask the Chinese officials in Ikh Khüree for help. As a consequence, a decree was issued in 1866 “concerning the bringing to trial and punishment of any lama who might be caught leading his life or spending time in a way not fitting for a clerical person.” Therefore, the Bogdo Gegen was forced to limit his excesses. Still, after a while it became so bad that as a consequence the closest friends of the Bogdo Gegen, such as the Tsetsen Khan’s son, got expelled from Ikh Khüree.
Many people attribute the hutukhtu’s death to the removal of his friends.Iconographical Prototype 1
The Bogdo Gegen wears the black hat framed by a red and white line. His inner robe is red and has black hem at the collar and sleeves with a white furry outline. His outer robe is orange and shows a simple but eye-catching golden pattern of curls. His coat is yellow and unadorned. The folds of his clothes are defined by dynamic outlines.
The seventh Bogdo Gegen has a big oval-shaped and expressive face, a broad nose, full lips, and a slightly protruding chin. His complexion is white and he has long ears and very big hands. He performs the gesture of teaching/ granting refuge with his right hand in front of his heart and he holds a lotus flower with a prickly stem, large jagged leaves and a pink and white blossom on which a book and a sword – the emblems of the bodhisattva of wisdom Mañjuśrī – lie. In his left hand he holds a long-life vase with a tree in his lap. His head is surrounded by a mint-green halo.
As in fig. 8, two assistant monks stand on the left and right side of the throne. They are depicted in profile and at a much smaller scale. They wear Tibetan robes in different red and brown shades and Mongolian boots. The figure on the left offers a maṇḍala and an honor scarf, the figure on the right a golden vessel and an honor scarf.
The dark brown offering table in front of the throne has a stepped shape and tapers at the top and the bottom. Placed on it are a blue bowl with fruits, a golden ritual vase with peacock feathers, a double drum, jewels, a tea vessel, and a white conch with yellow fluid.
The sky is ultramarine blue without any color graduations. It is filled with pink, green, and gray clouds and the white moon and red sun shine in it. In the background there are hill slopes dotted with a dark green plant cover. They are of the same green color as the Bogdo Gegen’s halo.
Although the painting style is quite sketchy and imprecise and the colors are applied in a thick way, the composition conveys a very lively and dynamic impression. This effect is mainly the result of quickly applied lines, the scattered curly pattern and the vivid contrast of the bright blue and shining yellow colors.
Iconographical Prototype 4
An exceptional appliqué thangka (Fig. 16) portrays the seventh rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu. Other than in the representations already discussed, he is rendered in a three-quarter profile and is positioned somewhat to the right side of the picture.
The Bogdo Gegen is seated on a thick cushion of a cloth ornamented which a geometrical pattern. It rests on a simple low throne pedestal adorned with jewels and tendrils. Furthermore, a small rectangular drapery with a golden background and colorful lotus flowers is fixed in its middle. The backrest is draped with a dark-blue cloth with a pattern of golden flower and a white scarf framing the border. The additional throne construction in the background is covered with another cloth showing a complex meander and lotus pattern. The lingzhi-shaped top panel, adorned with blue jewels, is half-covered with rainbow-hued clouds.
The Bogdo Gegen performs the gesture of teaching/ granting refuge at his heart and in his left hand he holds a golden long-life vase with a tree and indicated mango fruits. He has long fingers with red finger nails, black hair, and a round and somewhat chubby face as in fig. 13. On his head he wears a black hat and he is surrounded by a light-blue halo. He wears a red inner robe with long sleeves that is adorned with delicate flower motifs and has a black collar and a blue lining. His outer robe is coral red and its folds are defined by golden shimmering outlines. His coat is ocher-colored and has a light blue lining and a decorative strip of the same pattern as the cloth covering the larger backrest. Its pleats are contoured by lively and elegant lines.
In the clouds above the Bogdo Gegen’s head appears the red Buddha Amitābha (Tib. ‘od dpag med). He is depicted frontally and sits on a lotus and on a moon disc. Further to the left is a dGe lugs pa lama. He is illustrated at a larger scale and in profile. He wears a yellow paṇḍita hat. Holding a Tibetan text, his left hand rests in a meditative gesture in his lap. With his right hand he performs the gesture of teaching and holds a lotus with a sword. He sits on a throne with the same blue backrest and patterned cushion as the Bogdo Gegen. Even the style of the red outer robe and the ocher-colored coat is exactly the same.
On the left side of his throne stands a male figure with black hair wearing a golden robe with a black hem and a blue lining and a red coat. He has his head raised and looks at the Bogdo Gegen, whom he offers an honor scarf.
What is quite special about this composition is that all figures are connected with each other via eye contact in a very subtle way. While the red Buddha looks straight out of the picture to the viewer, the dGe lugs pa lama looks at the Bogdo Gegen, who focuses the monk who in return looks back at the Bogdo Gegen. Furthermore, the zig-zag placement of the figures and the similar style of thrones and garments are uniting elements, which, in a broader sense, express the spiritual connection of the figures and the transmission lineage, respectively. The golden shimmering thread that is used for outlining the garments as well as the hat and the mandorla of the Bogdo Gegen helps to create some sort of transparent or even transcendent atmosphere. By variations in the figures’ size, their staggered placement and the overlapping of elements such as the clouds with the backrest and the mandorla of the Bogdo Gegen a certain degree of spatial depth is achieved.
Iconographical Prototype 5
The Leder collection of the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart/ Germany hosts two rare statues of clay and papier mâché which represent the seventh rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu (Figs. 17, 18). In both images he performs the gesture of discussion or teaching/ granting refuge with the right hand at the level of his heart and holds a vase in his left hand which rests on his lap in the meditative gesture. He wears the black hat of the Bogdo Gegens and the Mongolian lama dress with the black collar and sleeves. His face is round and somewhat chubby. In fig. 17, he is portrayed with big eyes and large pupils; in fig. 18 the eye line is drawn more upward and the pupils either had not been painted or they have vanished. In fig. 17, the folds of the outer robe fall in pretty wavy lines. Moreover, the clothes seem to merge with the plinth which is decorated with continuous meandering clouds.
The seventh Bogdo Gegen is also represented in several different ways (Figs. 12-18).
In fig. 12, he performs the gesture of granting refuge/ teaching with his right hand and holds a lotus flower on which a rdo rje and a bell lie. His left hand rests in his lap in the meditative gesture and he holds a vase with a plant inside. Behind his left shoulder grows another lotus flower without any item. In figs. 14 and 15, he performs the same hand gestures and holds the same attributes. A book and a sword are placed on the lotus flower. In fig. 13, only the book lies on the lotus while the sword was omitted. In figs. 16-18, the lotus flower was omitted. In all portraits he wears a Mongolian hat and robes. He has a broad, round face, which in some representations, appears even chubby (Figs. 13, 16-18).
The Representation of the Eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu (1870 – 20th of May 1924)
Despite Khalkha hopes, the eighth and last incarnation of the line was born once again in Tibet, this time to a family led by one of the managers of the Dalai Lama's estates. Easily bored, this Bogdo Gegen at first diverted himself harmlessly enough with mechanical toys, clocks, illustrated journals from Europe, and a large menagerie of stuffed, exotic animals … By 1885 he had become violent, beating his monks and landing blows on innocent bystanders. He spent his time with a rough, rowdy crowd, hardly monastic, and took numerous lovers, male and female. Yet it was he who was called on to lead Mongolia into the modern era; when the Manchu Qing dynasty fell to the forces of the new Chinese Republic in 1911, the Bogdo Gegen became the Bogdo Khan – the enlightened khan – assuming the Mongol title the Qing had usurped centuries before for themselves.
The eighth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Ngag dbang blo bzang chos rje nyi ma bstan 'dzin dbang phyug (Mong. Agvaanluvsanchoyjindanzanvaanchigbalsambuu) was born in 1870 as the son of a Tibetan official, a manager of the economic division at the Dalai Lama’s palace.
According to Pozdneyev, the boy was recognized as the incarnation of the seventh rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu in the Potala Palace by the 13th Dalai Lama Thub bstan rgya mtsho (1876-1933) following the issue of the Chinese Qing court. In 1874, the Khalka delegation returned from Tibet to Ikh Khüree along with the baby Bogdo Gegen and his father, mother, and brothers. He grew up very peacefully with his family and teachers.
Pozdneyev mentions that when his mother died in 1887, “the hutukhtu began leading the same reprehensible life as his predecessor had led.” The 17-year-old boy organized drinking parties, began to smoke, play cards, and spend the time in the company of women. According to Pozdneyev, he also showed aggressive behavior. He is reported to have enjoyed crashing into people on horseback in the streets or baiting dogs at pedestrians. Once, he allegedly set an old lama’s beard on fire by wetting it with kerosene. When the young Bogdo Gegen went so far to commit a crime, the lamas rose up against him, and some of his closest friends were arrested.
[The people] looked on his every eccentricity as something mysterious and tried to explain his very exploit in his favor on the basis of their sacred books.
The Bogdo Gegen more and more withdrew from Ikh Khüree into his summer palace outside of Züün Khüree city on the shores of the Tuula river. He possessed a huge collection of clocks, watches, mechanical toys and European journals as well as luxury items like furs, precious stones, weapons etc. to pass the time. Besides that, he enjoyed all the privileges and pleasures of a secular monarch. He was married twice. His first consort was Ekh Dagin (“Mother ḍākinī”). She died in 1923 and was replaced by the wife of a wrestler “who let her go with a shrug.” Like her husband, she led an excessive life and had affairs with numerous lovers.
Due to his excessive lifestyle, the Bogdo Gegen/ Khan finally fell ill with tertiary syphilis and blindness. In order to cure his blindness, a massive image of a special iconographic form of Avalokiteśvara (Tib. sPyan ras gzigs) was commissioned and housed in a temple at Ganden monastery in Ikh Khüree. Furthermore, supporters of the Bogdo Gegen commissioned 10,000 figurines of the Buddha of Limitless Life (Skt. Amitāyus; Tib. tshe dpag med), wishing to prolong his life with them. Nevertheless, the eighth Bogdo Gegen died in 1924, a year after his wife, at the age of 54.
After his death, the Mongolian People's Republic was installed and the Communist government declared that no more reincarnations of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu ought to be found. However, the 14th Dalai Lama bsTan ‘dzin rgya mtsho (born in 1935) identified the ninth Bogdo Gegen in a Tibetan boy, born in 1932 in Lhasa. This was not officially announced until the collapse of the USSR and the establishment of a democratic system in Mongolia. In 1991, the ninth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu 'Jam dpal rnam grol chos kyi rgyal mtshan (1932-2013) was formally enthroned in Dharamsala/ India by the 14th Dalai Lama, and in Ulaanbaatar in 1999.
Iconographical Prototype 1
At present time, the khubilgan [tulku] of the Jebtsun Damba hutukhtu is nearly twenty-two years old; in height he is a little below the average, and he is thin; his face is somehow yellow, without the slightest sign of color, and still more unpleasant by virtue of the expression of some sort of childish willfulness and capricious stubbornness which is always present in it, and also form the lips, which are extraordinarily sensuous in their development. The adjoining portrait [see fig. 19] which I was successful in taking, presents him seated in one of the halls of his summer palace in the costume that he ordinarily wears at home.
Bogdo Gegeen’s writings, where he instructs about devotion to faith and proper discipline, and his portraits, which show him first and foremost as a monk suggest that he was aware of his degradation, and took active measures to create yet another image of himself for his people.In the painting by Mongolian painter Baldugiin “Marzan” Sharav (1869-1939), the eighth Bogdo Gegen shows photorealistic features. Therefore, it seems obvious that the artist used the photographs in figs. 19, 20 or even another specific photograph, as Uranchimeg Tsultem and Patricia Berger suggest, as a visual guideline. The Bogdo Gegen has an oval or even square face with a high forehead, large protruding ears, full lips and the corners of his mouth point slightly down. His complexion is dark and he does not wear a hat. The halo usually surrounding the heads of the rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus was omitted as well. Both hands rest on his knees and he holds a prayer bead in his right hand. He wears the traditional Tibetan lama robes. The inner robe is dark brown and adorned with a golden strip showing colorful lotus flowers. Underneath he wears a yellow long-sleeved shirt. His dark brown coat is thrown diagonally over his left shoulder and has deep folds.
1. Elisabeth Haderer, “The Sacred and the Profane – On the Representation of the first and second rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus in Mongolian Buddhist Art: Part 1,” Asianart.com (Santa Fe, 2012), https://www.asianart.com/articles/haderer/haderer.pdf.
2. Siegbert Hummel, “Die lamaistischen Malereien und Bilddrucke des Linden-Museums,” in Tribus: Veröffentlichungen des Linden-Museums 16, ed. Linden-Museum Gesellschaft für Erd- und Völkerkunde Stuttgart e. V. (Schorndorf bei Stuttgart: Druckerei und Verlag Karl Hoffmann, 1967): 44; Veronika Ronge, “Porträtdarstellungen der Tibetischen Könige zur Chos rgyal Zeit (8. - 9. Jh.),” in Das Bildnis in der Kunst des Orients, ed. Martin Kraatz (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1990), 22.
3. Aleksei M. Podzneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, ed. John R. Krueger (Bloomington: Uralic and Altaic Series, 1971), 386.
4. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 386.
5. Haderer, “The Sacred and the Profane: Part 1.”
6. Charles Bawden, “The Jebtsundampa Khutukhtus of Urga,” Asiatische Forschungen 9 (1961).
7. Uranchimeg Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree: A Nomadic Monastery and the Later Buddhist Art of Mongolia,” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2009), 81, 82, 83, 9192, 101, 102.
8. Anonymus, Jibzundamba blama töröl üyes giged oron datsang baiygulugsan temdeglel [Notes on Lineage of Jibzundamba and about establishing Temples]), MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
9. [Galbarvas Story of Jebtsundambaluvsantsultemjigmeddambiijantsanbalsambuu], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
10. Tabuduγar Boγda-yin namtar orśibai [Hagiography of the Fifth Bogd], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
11. [Concerning the Seventh Jebtsundamba’s Birthday and granting Ranks and Titles to the Preceptor lkhaaramba Navaan-Osor, Tibetan Khanchin Tsorj Baldanchoimbol (mkhan chen chos rje dpal ldan chos spel), and the Father Myagmar], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
12. [Concerning the Enthronement of the Seventh Jebtsundamba], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
13. [Jebtsundamba’s Reincarnation Lists and Notes on Construction of datsans], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
14. [The Secret History of the Enthronement of the Jebtsundamba Khutukhtu], MS, National Library of Mongolia, n. y.
15. G. Ts. Tsybikov, Buddhist Palomnik u Svjatin Tibeta (Petrograd, 1919).
16. N. Tsultem, Development of the Mongolian National Style Painting Mongol Zurag in Brief (Ulaanbaatar: State Publishing House, 1986).
17. G. M. Bongrad-Lewina, ed., Ikonographija Vadschrajani (Moscow: Ars Buddhica, 2003).
18. Hummel, “Die lamaistischen Malereien und Bilddrucke des Linden-Museums.”; Siegbert Hummel, “Die lamaistischen Kultplastiken im Linden-Museum: I. Die lamaistischen Bronzen, II. Die lamaistischen Plastiken aus Ton, Papiermaché und Holz,” in Tribus: Veröffentlichungen des Linden-Museums 11, ed. Linden-Museum Gesellschaft für Erd- und Völkerkunde Stuttgart e. V. (Schorndorf bei Stuttgart: Druckerei und Verlag Karl Hoffmann, 1962): 15-69.
19. Albert Grünwedel, Mythologie des Buddhismus in Tibet und der Mongolei: Führer durch die lamaistische Sammlung des Fürsten E. Uchtomskij (Osnabrück: Zeller, 1970).
20. Elisabeth Haderer, “Buddhistische Thangkamalerei in der Mongolei: Einige Rollbilder der Sammlung Leder” (Master Thesis, University of Graz, 2003).
21. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 368-370.
22. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 368-370.
23. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 350.
24. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 352.
25. Pozdneyev does not mention any details about the portrait, if it still exists and where it is kept.
26. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 354.
27. See A. B. Griswold, “Prolegomena to the Study of the Buddha’s Dress in Chinese Sculpture,” Artibus Asiae 26 (1963), 85-131.
28. The ring or index finger and the thumb do not touch here as is usually the case with this hand gesture.
29. See Robert Beer, The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs (Boston: Shambhala, 1999), 221.
30. Pozdneyev does not give details. (See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 355)
31. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 355.
32. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 355.
33. Tuberculosis that spread very fast.
34. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 355-357.
35. The gesture might be understood as a reference to the bodhisattva of compassion and love Avalokiteśvara (Tib. sPyan ras gzigs) who embraces a wish-fulfilling jewel (Skt. cintāmaṇi; Tib. yid bzhin nor bu) with both hands to the front of his heart.
36. This may be due to the old reproduction of the picture or the condition of the painting itself.
37. Pozdneyev assumes that the rdo rje fixed at the hat of the Bogdo Gegen was probably a sign of the Tushetu Khans, the rulers of the Khalka Mongols. It was presented to Abatai Khan (1554-1588) by the third Dalai Lama bSod nams rgya mtsho (1543-1588). Later, the first rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Zanabazar (1635-1723) used the rdo rje as a sign to legitimate himself as a direct heir of the Tushetu Khan Gombodorz (reigned 1594-1655). He issued that all future rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtus should carry it as a symbol of the beneficial activity of the Tushetu Khans for the development of Buddhism in Mongolia. (See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 383)
38. The monk staff could be interpreted as a symbol of Buddha Śākyamuni, while the khaṭvāṅga is an attribute of Padmasambhava (Tib. Guru Rinpoche) (8th/ 9th century), who introduced the tantric teachings in Tibet and who is regarded as a second Buddha by the Tibetans.
39. Pozdbeyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 357.
40. Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 83.; The author refers to several sources that mention and document this trip, for instance Luvsanperleenamjil, Tabuduγar Boγda-yin namtar orśibai. (Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 109)
41. According to Tsultem and Berger, there also exist hagiographies of the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu in Tibetan, his own prolific writings like for instance Blo bzang tshul khrims 'jigs med bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan et al., “rJe btsun dam pa sku phreng lnga pa blo bzang tshul khrims 'jigs med bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan gyi gsung thor bu phyogs gcig tu sdebs pa,” in Khal kha rje btsun dam pa sku phreng rim byon gyi gsung 'bum, ed. R. Byambaa, volume 3 of 4 volumes, TBRC W2DB25419 (Ulaanbaatar, 2004): 1-176, and meditation instructions such as a Guru Yoga (Tib. bla ma lha'i rnal 'byor) practice on him (Blo bzang rta mgrin, “sKyabs mgon rje btsun dam pa sku 'phreng lnga pa la brten pa'i bla ma lha'i rnal 'byor,” in Blo bzang rta mgrin, gSung 'bum, ed. Mongolian Lama Gurudeva (New Delhi, 1975-1976), TBRC W13536, 3ff (55-60) that Pozdneyev did not know.
42. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 357, 358.
43. See Anonymous, Jebtsundambaluvsantsultemjigmeddambiijantsanbalsambuugiin tsadig tuuh Galbarvas modon.
44. Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 80.
45. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 360.
46. He died from syphilis.
47. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 361.
48. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the ‘Ghost mushroom’ or the ‘Mushroom of immortality’ is known as the ‘king of the medical plants.’ It is a remedy to strengthen the immune system and the liver. It is also used for increasing metabolism (See RR Paterson, “Ganoderma: A therapeutic fungal Biofactory,” Phytochemistry 67 (2006): 1985-2001, doi: 10.1002/chin.200650268.). Therefore, it is one of the “six types of long life” (Tib. tshe ring drug skor) in Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist art. (See Beer, Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, 95-99)
49. The figures refer to classical representations of the historical Buddha Śākyamuni (Tib. sangs rgyas sha kya thub pa) (ca. 560–478 B.C.) accompanied by his students Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana.
50. See Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 82.
51. The Fine Arts Museum in Ulaanbaatar owns a portrait of the first rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Zanabazar by the same artist. (See Tsultem, Development of the Mongolian National Style Painting, figs. 108, 109, 110); I analyzed this portrait in the first part of this publication. (See Haderer, “The Sacred and the Profane: Part 1.”) It shows the same composition layout, pictorial elements, details and painting style. It would be interesting to know, if there exists a whole set of paintings portraying all Bogdo Gegens.
52. Unfortunately, the resolution of the picture is too low to be able to read the Tibetan inscription at the beam. According to Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 80) the inscription reads: Blo gros bzan po yon tan kun gyi gter/ Rnam dag tshul khrims gtsang ma‘i rab brgyan ‘dis/ Gzhan don grub la ‘jigs med snying rje can/ Bstan pa‘i gyal mtshan ‘dzin la gsol ba ‘debs: “Good intelligence [blo gros bzan po], treasury of all good qualities/ With supreme adornment of pure and clean morality [tshul khrims]/ You who are fearless [‘jigs med] and compassionate in accomplishing the welfare of others/ May you grasp the victory banner of the teachings [bstan pa‘i rgyal mtshan].” As Tsultem points out, the fifth rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu’s personal name Blo bzang tshul khrims ‘jigs med bstan pa‘i rgyal tshan “is artfully embedded in the verse, covertly hinting at the reincarnation’s presence, and yet acknowledging the religious connotations of the name as standing for the ruler’s preeminent qualities … .”
53. The bowl might designate him as a rightful heir of Buddha Śākyamuni and the basket and text might be understood as a symbol for his knowledge of the Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
54. The figure might be one of the teachers of the fifth Bogdo Gegen, most probably the seventh Panchen Lama bsTan pa'i nyi ma (1781-1852) (Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 81, proposes the fourth Panchen Lama bLo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan (1570-1662) (?), but does not give details explaining her assumption) or one of the Dalai Lamas. For example, the ninth Dalai Lama Lung ston rgya mtsho (1806-1815) is generally depicted with the same gestures and attributes. (See Martin Brauen, ed., Die Dalai Lamas: Tibets Reinkarnationen des Bodhisattvas Avalokiteśvara (Zürich: Arnoldsche, 2005), 128)
55. See Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli, “International dGelugs-pa Style of Architecture from the 16th – 19th Century,” Journal of the Tibet Society 21, no. 2 (Summer 1996): 53-89.
56. See Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 82.
57. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 361.
58. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 361.
59. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 362.
60. Anonymous, Doluduγar düri-yin següder jergečegsen ba baγsi lharamba Aγvang odser, tübed gačin čorji Baldanγombu nar-tu čola, ečige Miγmar-tu jingse otuγ-a zerge sangnaγsan tuqai. (Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 110)
61. See Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 88.
62. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 363.
63. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 363.
64. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 363, 364.
65. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 364.
66. It is a symbol of protection and honor. (See Beer, Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, 69, 70)
67. Due to its posture and clothing (e. g. elephant and tiger skins) this could be a meditational form (Tib. yi dam) of Yama depicted here.
68. Tsultem interprets the vase containing the nectar of immortality, the attribute of Amitāyus, the bodhisattva of Infinite Life, as a symbol for the long life of the seventh rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu, who, nevertheless, died at an early age. (See Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 88, 89)
69. This iconographic type corresponds with the portrait of the seventh Bogdo Gegen in the National History Museum in Ulaanbaatar. (Fig. 16)
70. It could be the seventh Pan chen bla ma bsTan pa'i nyi ma (1781-1852), who is generally depicted with the same iconographic features. Whereas, Uranchimeg Tsultem and Patricia Berger suggest that the figure is a portrait of Tsongkhapa. (Tsultem and Berger, Written commentary, July 19, 2016).
71. Hummel assumes that both sculptures originate from the Tibetan-Chinese-Mongolian border regions and date back at least to the 16th/ 17th century, but most probably they were created at a much later period. (See Hummel, “Die lamaistischen Kultplastiken im Linden-Museum,” 45, 60)
72. The color has vanished in fig. 19.
73. Patricia Berger and Terese Tse Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan (San Francisco: Thames & Hudson, 1995), 71.
74. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 365.
75. Pozdneyev does not mention which sort of crime. (See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 367)
76. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 367.
77. See Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 383.
78. See Berger and Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, 71.
79. See Olaf Czaja, “The Eye-healing Avalokiteshvara: History, Art and Medicine,” (paper presented at the IATS XIII conference, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 21-27, 2013).
80. See Berger and Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, 71, 72.
81. Urgunge Onon and Derrick Pritchatt, Asia’s first modern revolution: Mongolia proclaims its independence in 1911 (Leiden: Brill, 1989).
82. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 368.
83. Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 100.
84. Marzan was his nickname and means “jester.” (See “Balduugiin Sharav,” Free Dictionary, accessed November 12, 2016, http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Balduugiin+Sharav.)
85. According to Tsultem, “the artist clearly follows the photographic tradition in China that places the sitter with a Chinese teacup and a clock – a clear imperial index as they point to both Qianlong Emperor’s and also Bogdo Gegeen’s noted passion.” (Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 100.)
86. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 368.
87. Pozdneyev, Mongolia and the Mongols, 368.
88. These attributes refer to the bodhisattva Vajrasattva (Tib. rDo rje sems pa) and are characteristic for the representation of the first rJe btsun dam pa Khutukhtu Zanabazar. (See Haderer, “The Sacred and the Profane: Part 1.”; Tsultem, “Ikh Khüree,” 76, 77)
89. In a portrait of the sixth Panchen Lama dPal ldan ye shes (1738-1780) that was made in ca. 1780 at the Qing court, the Panchen Lama wears a similar hat. (See Patricia Berger, “Lineages of Form: Buddhist Portraiture in the Manchu Court,” The Tibet Journal 27, no. 1-2 (2002): 141)
90. See Hummel, “Die lamaistischen Malereien und Bilddrucke des Linden-Museums,” 43, 44.
91. The representation appears to be a reproduction of a portrait by the painter Sharav. (See Tsultem, Development of the Mongolian National Style Painting, fig. 176)
92. See Tsultem, Development of the Mongolian National Style Painting, fig. 92.
93. The sitting position is not visible due to the robes concealing the legs of the Bogdo Gegens.
94. The touching fingers symbolize the act of teaching or the combination of wisdom and method, while the remaining three fingers signify the Three Jewels (Skt. triratna; Tib. dkon chog gsum) of Buddhist refuge, Buddha, dharma and saṅgha. (See Robert Beer, Die Symbole des Tibetischen Buddhismus (München: Diederichs, 2003), 312, 313)
95. The vase is an attribute of Amitāyus, the bodhisattva of infinite life (Tib. tshe dpag med). It is filled to its top with saffron water and contains a wish-fulfilling tree that embodies the essence of Amitābha or his syllable Hrih. Another variation of the tree is a leaf cluster of a mango tree bearing three mango fruits. Fresh fruits and twigs with leaves are symbols of abundance and longevity. (See Beer, Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols, 221)
96. In some portraits published in the book by Tsybikov (Figs. 4, 6, 11, 13) the mouth seems even to be missing or the color has vanished in the course of time.
97. See Griswold, “Prolegomena to the Study of the Buddha’s Dress,” 92, 93.
98. See Haderer, “The Sacred and the Profane: Part 1.”