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CENTURY: 15th Century

The 15th century was a relatively peaceful era in Tibetan history and is characterized by momentous achievements in Tibetan Buddhism and its art. A central figure in this period was Tsong Khapa (1357 – 1419), Tibet’s most illustrious lama and a profound clarifier of the Buddhist doctrine. Perhaps most prominent in the middle and second half of the 15h century, however, are the paintings that continue the indo-Nepalese style … these paintings reveal a marked tendency toward dramatic simplification, with the incorporation of some elements of naturalism, especially in the modeling of the main figures. Tibetan art [from this middle period] in its history reached a high point, both in terms of output and in monumentality, particularly in the splendid products of the monasteries of Tsang. The works of the Kumbum and the Peljor Chode are landmarks in the history of Tibetan art and served as inspiring models for more than a century to come.