CHIMIA 2001, 55. No. 11

Chimia 55 (2001) 900-914 © Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft ISSN 0009-4293

Arts and Sciences. A Personal Perspective of Painting

Richard R. Ernst*

Abstract: The relationship between the arts and the sciences is discussed from the standpoint of a scientist and passionate art lover. The two playgrounds of human creativity have much in common and have cross- fertilized each other over centuries. An active involvement in an artistic discipline can stimulate scientific creativity by direct analogy and by emotional and intellectual experience. The excitement of a scientist for the arts is exemplified by the author's adventures in Tibetan painting. The scientific study of Tibetan is discussed by examples from the author's collection. The analysis of pigments and the dating of the paintings are covered. In addition, some background information on the historical and iconographic context is given. Keywords: Arts and sciences' Dating of paintings' Pigment analysis· Tibetan · Tibetan thangkas

Arts and Sciences which have no equivalence in former pe- function may equally well be performed riods or in nature. And with the aid of the by an intelligently programmed and pow- Much has already been written about the computer-based synthesis of music and erful computer which has the advantage hidden link between the arts and the sci- of graphical creations, the very last limi- of not being distracted by emotional de- ences. The two highly creative fields are tations, imposed by the difficult musical sires. evidence of the ingenious human . instruments and the painter's self-willed How boring must it be to meet one of Human culture could hardly be conceived brush, are overcome, leading to a com- these 'perfectly objective scientists'! Per- without the arts or without the sciences. plete liberation of the creative artist's sons without personality! True function- They belong inseparably to us and form mind. Breaking as many barriers of con- aries and operators! - But how different essential parts of our identity. vention as possible seems to have be- are in fact some of our greatest and most At first sight, the two domains of cre- come the trademark of a respected artist. respected scientists! Men and women ativity have developed appearances as The great works of modem art still ex- with deeply humanistic and emphatic disparate as possible. Especially the con- press eternal truths, but through the personalities, individuals with a broad temporary arts have liberated themselves individualized perception of an artist who horizon and often with more cultural from all conceivable constraints. For ex- values his own emotions and imagina- knowledge than those who professionally ample in painting, the abstract styles in- tions infinitely more than the conventions deal with culture. Often scientists possess troduced during the first half of the 20th of society. highly developed artistic skills, some are century by visionary painters, such as The fundamental task of the sciences, excellent graphical artists, others write Wasily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock, on the other hand, is understood to be the handsome novels, and, perhaps most fre- abandoned all preestablished 'natural' objective search for the laws of nature, quently, one encounters devoted and su- patterns in order to create a novel uni- which are believed to have absolute va- perbly performing musicians among our verse reflecting exclusively the painter's lidity and should in no way reflect the top scientists. intent. Similar trends characterize the momentary emotions of the scientist who One may conclude that even 'real sci- developments in 20th century music. The has discovered them. Restraining the re- entists' have a hidden humane side. Their atonal musical inventions by composers searcher's emotionally driven personali- are not entirely satiated by objec- like Anton Webem and Arnold Schon- ty, while performing reproducible experi- tive research activities, and they are in berg are based on their own set of rules ments, collecting objective and truthful need of a complementary humanistic or data, conceiving explanations, and writ- artistic 'hobby'. To some extent, the ing papers in a style as impersonal as pos- complementarity of the arts for supple- ·Correspondence: Prof. Dr. R.R. Ernst laboratorium fUr Physikalische Chemie sible, seem to be very basic prescripts of menting what a scientist misses during ETH Honggerberg HCI the scientific profession. The researcher, his specialized daily occupation might CH-8093 Zurich so-to-say, establishes merely an intellec- indeed provide some explanation for the Tel.: +41 1 6324368 Fax: +41 1 632 1257 tual link within the machinery of infor- extra-scientific activities of scientists. E-Mail: [email protected] mation acquisition. To some extent, his But it does not convey the full truth. ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 901

CHIMIA 2001, 55, No, 11

In fact, there is at least as much com- compositions. Another example of self- At that time, I devoted most of my leisure monness as there is disparity between the imposed restriction in the arts are the time to musical performance and compo- 'exact' sciences and the 'liberal' arts. mystics of numbers in I.S. Bach's com- sition, besides experimenting with fasci- First, the sciences are not at all as objec- positions and those of many others. It nating chemicals in the basement of our tive and 'exact' as stated above and often seems that also artists need hurdles, barri- home. maintained by the proponents of absolute ers, or fringe conditions against which Music opened, so-to-say, a door to scientific truth. A great deal of human in- they can fight in order to stimulate or higher spheres of perception which tuition and imaginativeness is necessary channel their creativity, in a similar man- went way beyond the daily sensations in for the rationalization of scientific meas- ner that scientists have to pay unrestrict- school and family. Still today, I cannot urements. Although the discovered 'laws ed obedience to experimental data. - And live for long without musical stimulation, of nature' may explain perfectly all above all, the mtist is compelled to ex- although I have little occasion for active known experimental facts, they are mere- press the message he has in mind or that performance. Experiencing classical mu- ly humane model perceptions, but cannot is on his task sheet. Especially in com- sic of all shades is nearly as important to be claimed to be 'absolute' in the true missioned art, the restrictions imposed me as is breathing air. sense of the word, and they involve often upon the artist might be extremely severe. Later I discovered the fascination of as much 'invention' as they are 'discov- In medieval times, the majority of the art European literature and European paint- eries'. According to the principles of cog- production was connected to its religious ing. As much as in music, I tried to avoid nition, we are never capable of achieving function, and religious dogma had to be the commonly traveled paths. I became more than the construction of models that followed very strictly. In fact, painters interested in early Romanesque and Goth- match nature. 'True' nature can only be and musicians in the middle ages were ic painting, on the one hand, and in 20th guessed but never proven. In many ways, considered as craftsmen, rather than lib- century painting on the other. Medieval the design of such theoretical or heuristic erated artists. provided me, being myself at models requires as much creativity and In summary, there are indeed intimate most an agnostic, a fascinating access to intuition as is needed in the arts. It is relations between the arts and the scienc- nonverbal spirituality and to religious well-known that also in the sciences es. Both fields require intuition and crea- symbolism, complementing my musical beauty, simplicity, and symmetry often tivity, and in both fields greatness is experiences which had a similar vital distinguish the superior theories from the measured by the mastery of inherent dif- function. less successful ones. We must 'love' a ficulties and nevertheless expressing eter- Only much later, in 1968 during a theory before we are ready to accept it. nal truths or achieving eternal beauty. It journey to Asia, a first unexpected con- Aesthetics clearly has great importance is sometimes said that a sculptor liberates tact with Asian arts and in particular with in the sciences. It seems, for example, not a which is already invisibly revealed a fascinating new too far reached to compare in terms of contained in the raw block of hard rock, world of cultural and philosophical creativity the conception of relativity in the same way that a scientist reveals experiences. This lucky event initiated theory with the invention of the Odyssey the laws of nature hidden in the raw ex- my insatiable interest and excitement for by Homer or the b-minor mass by I.S. perimental data. Or it is claimed that . It shall serve as a personal Bach. those human beings who are capable of example for illustrating the fascination of On the other hand, the stringent scaf- preserving during their entire lifetime a scientist by the arts. fold or corset imposed upon the freedom their youthful curiosity and spontaneity of the researcher by the experimental may become scientists or, in the best data, which are not allowed to be mani- case, artists. Tibetan Art, an Example pulated under any circumstances, is not It is only natural that revolutionary unique to the sciences alone. Also the arts scientists are attracted by the revolution- What makes Ti betan art [J -10] so know a multitude of scaffolds or corsets ary arts. They intuitively feel the related- attractive to a western physical chemist? which the artists are not permitted to vio- ness and they often find open-minded What is it about the art of one of the poor- late without forfeit. First of all, in the tra- interlocutors in the arts, revealing conge- est countries with a tiny population of ditional, classical arts, the obedience of niality and leading to friendship. Fre- perhaps two to four million, remote from strict rules was a prerequisite for receiv- quently, they are stimulated in their all the great, highly populated cultural ing a quality label. A skilful painting professional endeavors by great works of centers of the world that causes so much must fulfill general rules of composition art. Patterns of reasoning and perception fascination? - In spite of its geographic for easing the eye's journey through its have often been transferred directly from inaccessibility, important cross roads for contents. Also in traditional musical one discipline to the other. There are also trade and also for cultural exchanges composition, a very extensive system of numerous artists who are fascinated by passed through there. The famous rules in terms of classical harmonics and the sciences and are stimulated by scien- road was not too far away to the north counterpoint governs the interplay of the tific discoveries and reasoning. If nothing and the Himalayan passes provided voices. And even the most radical com- else, science provides novel means which frequently utilized, although m'duous posers of the 20th century have postulated artists might exploit to express better passages from and to the rules which they themselves deliberately their artistic intentions. northern plains, to the sacred Kailash obeyed. Paul Hindemith has developed mountain, and to the salt lakes of the his own strict and logical system of com- Chang Tang. position in 'Unterweisung im Tonsatz', My Personal Attraction to the Arts The great Asian cultures not only cut and Arnold Schonberg created his fa- through , but these rugged high- mous 'twelve-tone system' which forms The arts intrigued me already during lands had a surprising retaining power for an exceedingly stringent scaffold that my adolescence, before I attempted to cultural inspirations and treasures. Many drastically limits the freedom of serial become a halfway respectable scientist. ancient cultural documents and religious ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 902

CHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11 traditions remained in the remote moun- stition. Basically, Buddhism remains in bar (HgS) [30]; orange: realgar (AS2S2) tain region, while in the open lowlands of fact atheistic [14]. The various are [31]; yellow: orpiment (AS2S3) [31] and South and East Asia, they were extin- symbolic representations of abstract spir- yellow ochre (Fe203·nH20) [32]; green: guished and replaced by cultures of more itual concepts which are essential for malachite (CuC03'Cu(OH)z) [33] and ver- aggressive proponents. In particular, mastering our life and for human interre- digris (mCu(CH3COO)z·nCu(OH)2·pH20) Buddhism [11-15], perhaps the most lations. It has often been pointed out that [34]; blue: azurite (2CuC03·Cu(OH)2) peaceful and least aggressive philosophi- the faithful Buddhist, meditating in front [35]; black: carbon black; white: chalk cal system of mankind, persisted there of a painting or a sculpture, med- (CaC03), gypsum (CaS04·2H20), and and even survived (so far) the incredibly itatively invokes and inspires the painted kaolin (AI2(Si20s)(OH)4)' Some inor- brutal, thoughtless, materialistic, and he- . Evident examples in this respect ganic pigments were produced syntheti- gemonic attempts of the Chinese govern- are the paintings (rgyan-tshogs, cally, for example orange red lead ments towards its extinction. host of ornaments) [25] where the deity (Pb304) [36], yellow massicot (PbO) (often inaccurately to be represented is not shown at all but [37], smalt [38], a blue cobalt glass, and called 'Lamaism') developed into an all only indicated by his attributes and his also cinnabar. Lapis lazuli and artificial encompassing State religion which pene- ornaments, and the meditator has to ultramarine were rarely used. The most trated and determined all conceivable as- 'project' the deity mentally into the (pur- important traditional pigments of organic pects of life [16-19]. This gave it an ab- posely incomplete) painting. origin are indigo (CI6HI002N2) [39], solute dominance, but also led to isola- which was imported from India and was tion and made it, after all, vulnerable to very frequently used in Nepalese external aggressors. Exuberant cultural Tibetan Thangka Painting painting but occasionally also in Tibet, and artistic production resulted, com- and lac lake [40], which was produced pletely incommensurate to the limited re- We concentrate here exclusively on locally. During the past two centuries, sources and to the hardships of life in the art of thangka painting and do not some western synthetic pigments also these extreme altitudes. Despite the high- mention the equally important Tibetan found their way into Tibet, for example ly deplorable extent of destruction by the metal which are often of stu- Prussian blue (Fe4[Fe(CN)6h) [41]. Chinese barbarians during the 1955 inva- pendous quality [26]. A thangka is a For the final shading of larger areas, sion and during the Cultural Revolution, scroll painting, normally on cotton cloth either very thin preparations of the above a surprising wealth of religious artifacts and often framed in Chinese silk brocade pigments were applied, or the painters of highest quality remained. Much of it [27-29]. On rare occasions, silk or other used dyes of organic origin, including was produced for vocational donations to fibers, such as hemp or flax., are used as indigo, red lac dye, red sandalwood dye, monasteries and has respectfully been the painting support. The cloth on which yellow saffron, and a yellow dye pre- stored away for up to twelve centuries. the painting is to be done is fixed and pared from the petals of a wild rose [27]. For this reason, even very early treasures stretched on a wooden frame, and cov- The outlining of larger areas was done from the 11th and 12th century remain, ered with a gesso consisting of chalk, with dark preparations of the correspond- sometimes, in an almost perfect state of gypsum, or kaolin mixed with an aqueous ing pigment, indigo or with carbon black preservation. hide glue solution. Hide glue is prepared ink. In spite of the philosophical nature of from the skin of yaks or other animals Especially tricky is the preparation of the Buddhist eternal wisdom and the and consists mainly of gelatin. Hide glue the sometimes extensively used gold rather atheistic concepts of Buddha is the binder medium for virtually all ap- paint [42]. The major problem is the Sakyamuni's teaching, Tibetan Buddhism, plications in Tibetan art. Especially, it is grinding of the ductile gold into a suffi- and in general northern or used for applying the pigments during ciently fine powder with a particle size in Buddhism, developed a surprisingly rich painting. It complicates the process of the order of a few microns. Sometimes pantheon of deities, of protectors (dhar- painting by having to handle hide glue at secret recipes were developed which are mapalas), of saints (), of (ma- a slightly elevated temperature (30-40 0c) still commercially used today by Newars hasiddhas), and of deified historical per- in order to avoid gel formation. in Katmandu. Some manufacturers em- sonalities [20-22]. Several hundred On the dry gesso, an outline is ploy a carbohydrate medium, for exam- deities, many with numerous local and sketched with charcoal or black ink, often ple honey, during the grinding process, circumstantial variants, are known and using a sophisticated grid construction to others start with gold amalgam. are represented in encyclopedic collec- arrive at the proper proportions of the fig- Thangkas have often been produced tions [23][24]. All of them are icono- ures [27]. Then, the painting process by professional lay painters in larger graphically well characterized by the starts by applying one pigment after the workshops, not necessarily associated to number of their heads, arms, and legs, by other. To finish, some shading may be a particular monastery or to a particular their posture (asana and sthana), by the added to the larger pigment-covered are- congregation. Frequently, several paint- positions of their hands (), by as and, finally, contours and important ers worked on a single thangka. For ex- their color, and by the attributes they are details are highlighted by black ink and ample, it was usually a master painter carrying [20-22]. It is not surprising that by gold paint. who inserted at the very end the eyes of this animated fantastic universe offered Most of the pigments used in Tibetan the displayed figures. But there were also fertile grounds for imaginative painters thangka painting are of natural mineral painting workshops with monk painters and sculptors. Verbal descriptions of the origin [27]. Many are found in Tibet, oth- within monasteries. deities alone remain largely inadequate. ers had to be imported. Pigments were, A very rare insight into such a monas- It should be remembered that the im- from very early times, valuable trade tery painting workshop is given on a mense pantheon has, for a knowledge- items which may have traveled quite far thangka in the author's collection, pub- able Buddhist, no objective reality in the by caravans. Frequently encountered tra- lished in [8][10], and [43]. As indicated sense of fundamentalist Christian super- ditional mineral pigments are: red: cinna- by its front-side inscriptions, the detail ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 903 eHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

Fig. 1. Detail (27 x 35 em), showing the thang- ka painters' workshop of Zhu-ehen Tshul- khrims-rin-ehen, from a thangka with episodes from the life of the abbot Rin-ehen-mi 'gyur- rgyal-mtshan. Painted between 1751 and 1774 in Derge, , east- ern Tibet. Entire paint- ing 79 x 58.5 em.

shown in Fig. 1 displays the atelier of the and although Tibet has a relatively dry [50], by element-specific spectroscopic famous painter Zhu-chen Tshul- climate, occasional rain may have pene- techniques [51][52], and others. khrims-rin-chen (J697-1774) who was trated through leaky roofs and damaged Besides the benefits of answering active in the east Tibetan monastery of the precious thangkas stored away for questions in of conservation and Derge in the Khams province [8]. The centuries. Thangkas displayed for an ex- restoration, knowledge of the painting master, seen on the right, prepares the de- tensive time suffered from the smoke of techniques is of historical interest. It al- sign of a painting, and on the left his dis- the aILabundant butter lamps. Frequently, lows a more accurate perception of the ciples are coloring thangkas (and in front, spills of butter have additionally damaged circumstances under which the art works a good-for-nothing enjoys the ongoing the surfaces. In other words, cleaning, res- have been produced. Issues of research outside activities). The detail shown is toration, and conservation ofthangkas are on thangka paintings will be discussed from a painting displaying episodes often indispensable and highly demand- for some examples of thangkas from the from the life of Rin-chen-mi-' gyur-rgyal- ing tasks [45-49]. The more scientific private collection of the author. mtshan (l717-?), the former 37th abbot knowledge that is available, the better the (1746-1751) [44] of the important Ngor thangkas can be handled by the conserva- monastery in central Tibet who visited tors. later Derge [8]. Both monasteries, Derge The following questions may arise in and Ngor, are associated with the art- the study and conservation of thangka The thangka of Fig. 2, published in loving tradition. The exceptionally paintings: [10], is a historical painting, showing informative thangka must have been four historical personalities as the main painted in this very same workshop (i) Date of the painting figures. However, the absence of any between 1751 and 1774. (ii) Geographical origin of the painting inscriptions does not straightforwardly (iii) Material of the supporting textile allow their identification. On the other (iv) Type of gesso applied hand, the smaller figures are more easily Sciell'1lftn~Dc ©Jl\.!esftniOilJils oEIl1'11dJ (v) Chemical composition of the identified. They represent the main line- A[p[plTiOioElclToes ill'1l ftlToe CiOill'1lfteltft iOi~ pigments used age of descendants of the tradi tion UlTooElll'1l\9l~oEIS (vii) Origin of the binder used for [53] from the Adibuddha (primordial preparing the paints and the gesso. Buddha) , shown at the top Thangkas are normally stored in center in his characteristic position (asa- rolled form. Cracks and paint loss are The analysis of pigments can be done na) and carrying (male symbol) in quite frequent due to rough mechanical by chemical microscopy, by microanalyses his right and (female symbol) in handling. In addition, the water-based under the microscope [32], by Fourier- his left hand flanked by the two main paintings are very sensitive to humidity, transform infrared spectroscopy (FrIR) Indian (yogis) of this tradi- ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 904

CHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

The faces of the four are in a very subtle way personified. Minute dif- ferences are used to characterize their physiognomy. The big open eyes and the round faces radiate open-mindedness and peacefulness. Despite this subtlety, Chris- tian Luczantis [55] claimed to recognize the upper left figure as Phagmo Grupa. It is apparent that the two grey-haired la- mas on the left are of advanced age, while the two on the left seem to be a genera- tion younger. This purposeful representa- tion does not match the historical ages of the four disciples of . It seems more likel y that each of the two pai rs rep- resents a teacher and his disciple. The two by far most important students of Gampopa were Dusum Khyenpa and Phagmo Grupa. Thus, one may identify the lower left teacher with the first Kar- mapa, Dusum Khyenpa. He also rather closely matches the physiognomy of a fa- mous contemporary statue of him [53]. The two figures on the right might be in- fluential students of them, perhaps Tang- pa Chenpo (1142-1210), the founder of the important Taglung monastery in the upper row, and Jigten Gompo (1143- 1212), the founder of the Drigung monas- tery in the lower row. The documented physiognomy of Tangpa Chen po [56] somewhat matches the upper right figure. Obviously, this identification is at best preliminary, having no reliable identifi- ers at hand. Portrait thangka painting is often done in honor of a great teacher after his death. Frequently, the donor of the paint- ing is also integrated into it, often in one of the lower corners. But paintings of great masters done during their lifetime are also known. It is thus likely that the thangka was painted between about 1160 and 1220. On overall stylistic grounds, one is tempted to date the painting between 1100 and 1300. There are ancient ele- Fig. 2. Central Tibetan thangka showing two pairs of meditating lamas surrounded by their ments in the painting which rather sug- which relates them tothe Adibuddha Vajrasattva in the upper center. 12th to 13th century. gest the first half of this period. For 80 x 55 em. example, the very characteristic thrones of , , Marpa, and , each with two side towers, topped by tiny tion: Tilopa (928-1009) on the left and kas, it is tempting to assume them to be , rarely appear in thangkas after his disciple Naropa (956-1040) on the four disciples of Gampopa [53]. Indeed, about 1250. These are remainders of the right. The lineage of teaching is continued Gampopa had four disciples, each of early influence by the north Indian Pala with the Tibetan translator Marpa (1012- whom founded a branch of the Kagyu art. Also the golden and decorated trian- 1097) at the lower left and his disciple tradition: Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193) gles to the left and right of each main fig- Milarepa (1040-1123), perhaps the great- the first , Phagmo Grupa (1110- ure on the head level are remainders of est Tibetan poet, at the lower right. Final- 1170) the founder of the Densatil monas- early thrones. They became by then a ly, the most influential disciple Gampopa tery, Dakpo Gomtsul (1116-1169) the purely decorative element without a clear (L079- 1153) [54] of Milarepa is shown originator of the Tsalpa branch, and function. It survived well into the 15th in the center of the painting. But who are Barom Wangchuk (?-?) the century, but is rarely found later. The lo- the four major Lamas? Because the line- founder of the Barompa branch of the tus pedestals of the main figures each age of teaching is so important on thang- Kagyu tradition. contain two blue lion heads and two red- ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 905

CHI MIA 2001,55, No. 11 nosed green elephant heads. These sym- flects the date of growth of the part of the Dating by Stylistic Analysis bolic decorations seldom occur in paint- tree stem that has been used. (ii) The pre- Stylistic analysis is in practice often ings after about 1300. These considera- cision of the 14Ccontent measured by ac- the only method used by 'Tibet experts', tions allow one to suggest, on stylistic celerator mass spectroscopy limits the ac- who have seen plenty of previously (of- grounds, a date between 1100 and 1250, curacy of the dating usually to ±50 years, ten incorrectly) dated thangkas. Applying in agreement with the historical reason- depending on the period to be dated. (iii) the acquired stylistic instinct permits an mg. Contamination by more recent, insoluble effortless on-the-spot dating to perhaps 14Cdating of the cotton on which the material, for example deposits from the ±50 to ±100 years. But the result can be thangka is painted has been done [57]. smoke of butter lamps, dust or material completely off under special circum- The calibrated and corrected 14Cdate is from recent attempts of conservation, stances, as demonstrated by the follow- 1169-1290 with a mean of 1229. This re- may lead to too recent dating. (iv) An in- ing example. sult favorably matches with the above herent source of uncertainty is the irregu- suggestions. lar production rate of 14Cin nature. It can Microscopy shows that this thangka cause grave ambiguities in the dating. 2. Portrait Thangka of has been painted on a heavy piece of cot- This unfortunate fact of nature may be Jigten Wangchuk ton covered with a very thin gesso of appreciated by the calibration curve in greyish chalk. The threads are still visible Fig. 3. The dating is hampered particular- The thangka shown in Fig. 4 belongs in the structure of the painting surface. ly in the ranges 1000-1150, 1260-1420, to an extensive series of paintings, each Chemical microscopy reveals the usage and 1460-1620. In these periods, the dat- displaying a hierarch of the Kagyu tradi- of the following pigments: The dark blue ing uncertainty is grave. For paintings af- tion, related to the monastery of Taglung. paint of the sky consists of azurite, and ter about 1660, dating by 14Canalysis is Two thangkas of this series are in the au- the faint bluish shades are prepared with virtually impossible. Often, it is merely thor's collection, published in [10]. Oth- indigo. The two blues can easily be possible to distinguish material produced ers are not (yet) known. Series of related distinguished under infrared light where before or after the nuclear bomb testing thangkas, usually with inscriptions on the azurite appears dark and indigo bright of the 1950s. The examples presented in backside indicating their order of hang- (verified chemically). The red is, as usu- the following demonstrate the limits of ing, have a long tradition in Tibet. They al, cinnabar. The yellow consists of orpi- 14Cdating in the time range relevant for are often symmetrically grouped to the ment on a chalk support, and the green is thangkas. left and right of a central image display- produced by mixing indigo with orpi- ment. The extraordinarily bright white consists of gypsum and chalk. Calibrated Age (years BP) 950 850 750 650 550 .50 350 250 ISO 50 0 Dating of Thangkas In fact, the three procedures applied above are the major tools available for 1100 estimating the age of thangkas: Lineage, 14Canalysis, and style of painting. In the 1000 case of Nepalese Buddhist and Hindu paintings () [58-60], an accurate 900 date is usually included in the inscription. Unfortunately, Tibetan paintings almost 800 Q, never contain a date. -IX! 700 f Dating Based on the Lineage :I 600 ~ Following the lineage is relatively U safe, provided the names of the teachers at 500 cc are indicated or they can be identified C 0 based on their physiognomy [8][61][62]. -e 400 C'lI Usually, a lineage stops with the donor of U the painting and fixes a production date :a0 C'lI within his active life time. Later repro- 300 CI:: ductions of earlier paintings of this kind are so far unknown (except for recent 200 fakes) and contradict the purpose of es- tablishing an unbroken link to the donor. 100 STUIVER AND BECI

He functioned as an abbot of the famous Kagyu monastery of Taglung and he transmitted the teachings to the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje (1507-1554). It seems that the painting had been commissioned by his follower Rje mTsho skyes rdo rje (1530-1590) who is shown as the second from right in the lowest row. The remainder of the lin- eage can only partly be identified. But it is clear that it starts with the Adibuddha (third in top row), followed by Tilopa (second in top row), Naropa (fifth in top row), Marpa (first in top row), Milarepa (sixth in top row), and Gampopa (last in top row). It is likely that the thangka was painted between 1540 and 1590. Thus the stylistic dating precedes the dating by lineage by more than 200 to 300 years. How can this be reconciled? Perhaps the two thangkas served to up- date an ancient series of thangkas, relating to the Taglung tradition, which was still on display at that time, The older mem- bers of the series might have been de- stroyed during the Chinese interventions, or only the better preserved, more recent members of the series have found their way onto the art market. A recent 14C analysis [66] gave, as a result of the problems mentioned above, the following possible ranges: 1527-1553, or 1633-1698, or 1722-1817, or 1920- 1955. The earliest 14Cdating period would fit the other arguments nicely. The later periods, compatible with the 14Cdata, ap- pear less reasonable. In the larger thangka painters' ate- liers, where several painters were active, it became customary to indicate on the Fig. 4. Portrait thangka of the Kagyupa hierarch Jigten Wangchug (1454-1532) together with the lineage preparatory outlining of the painting the connection from the Adibuddha Vajradhara. Probably painted between 1540 and 1560.37 x 31 cm. colors to be applied by a code so that an- other painter could complete the coloring [27][67]. But even for a single painter, ing a specially venerated deity which, in The art historian is put into a rather these marks may have been handy. The this case, is unknown. comfortable situation when the names of marks were covered by paint and remain Stylistically, the two thangkas can the displayed historical personalities are normally invisible. However by infrared easily be dated to the 13th or early 14th inscribed (usually in golden letters), photography or by viewing through an century. The most characteristic item is which is, in an international perspective, infrared viewer, they become apparent, the stylized mountains behind the throne a rather uncommon, but in Tibet rather except for dark blue, green, and black of the main figure with their alternation frequently used, procedure. It is evidence pigments which cannot easily be pene- of reddish and greenish stripes. They of the extent to which historical informa- trated by optical means. In the two thang- seem remotely related to the mountains tion was valued in Tibet. Indeed, thang- kas of the series, a mixed code of Tibetan seen in some of the earlier Russian icons. kas combine a religious meditative pur- digits and letters was used. Clearly Such mountain shapes were soon aban- pose with the recording and transmission visible are k = white, 2 = pink, 4 = green, doned and rarely appear in thangkas after of documentary information. 5 = blue, 7 (or I?) = orange. The letter k about 1350. Later, they are frequently re- The interpretation of this painting stands in Tibet often for the number 1. placed by typical Chinese mountain rep- took a surprising turn when the beauti- The painter used two different blue resentations. Also the kind of structuring fully written text on the reverse side and pigments: azurite, which is dark in IR of the bluish area of the throne belongs inscriptions on the front were read by light (with invisible lettering), and typically to the same period. The general Dr. Amy Heller [10]. Without doubt, the indigo, which is bright in IR and is indi- appearance of the two thangkas clearly displayed hierarch represents Jigten cate by the digit 5. Also two green colors reflects a 13th or early 14th century date. Wangchuk who lived from 1454 to 1532. are applied: malachite (dark in IR with ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 907

CHIMIA2001, 55, No. 11 invisible lettering) and indigo and orpi- Fig. 5. Infrared photo of a detail in the ment (bright in IR, and indicated by companion thangka to Fig. 4 men- the digit 4). Only, seemingly irrelevant, de- tioned inthe text, showing the digit '7' for red lead in the upper left and the tails (e.g. nimbuses and mountains) are digit '5' for indigo in the lower center color-coded. The colors of the essential fig- (marked by arrows). There is some ures must have been obvious to the painter. overlap ofthe '5' by a gold mark on its For observation under IR light, a right. Find-R-Scope of FJW Industries was used, equipped with a near-range lens and an IR filter. It was adapted to a Zeiss Stemi SVll microscope (using a 1.6x lens) equipped with a Polaroid DMC dig- ital microscope camera for recording. An IR display of a detail from the other painting of the series (showing Palden Rinchen, and displayed in [10], plate 103) is given in Fig. 5. It shows the orange area (red lead = 7) behind a foot of the Mahamaya and the blue nimbus (indigo = 5) of the deity Vajravi- darana at the lower right of the painting.

3. Bonpo Thangka of Takla Mebar

Let us make a brief excursion into an- other fascinating area of Tibetan art. Be- sides the Buddhist tradition, introduced during the reign of the famous and pow- erful King (-617-649) and by the Indian magician Padmasamb- hava (-730-800) during the reign of King Thrisong Detsen (742-798), there exists a primordial Tibetan religion, called '' [68-72]. The adherents of Bon, the Bonpos, also produced thangkas and bronze sculptures which are surpris- ingly similar to the Buddhist ones [71). Also the Bonpo thangka of Fig. 6, pub- lished in [10] and [73], is similar to a Bud- dhist representation of a protection deity. From 640 to 840, Buddhism became the Tibetan state religion and Bon was expelled into rural hide-outs. Tibet cov- ered, at that time, an astonishingly large area from the Oxus River (Amu Darya), eastern Afghanistan, and Turkestan in the west to Xian in the east, and from Bengal in the south (the 'Bay of Bengal' was once called 'Tibetan Sea') to and southern in the north [74][75]. But in 841, the Tibetan King was murdered by a Bonpo monk who was supported by unhappy feudal rulers. And it took 200 years be- fore Buddhism could recover, by a sec- ond spiritual influx from India, particu- larly by the teachings of the famous scholar Atisha (982-1054) who arrived in Tibet in 1042. Later, a peaceful co- existence of Bon and Buddhism developed. Two explanations exist in art science circles for the surprising similarity of Fig. 6. Bonpo thangka of the yidam Takla Mebar surrounded by numerous Bon deities and Bon Bon and Buddhist rituals [76). The first priests. Late 18th to 19th century. 118 x 82 em. ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 908

CHIMIA 2001,55. No. 11 one maintains that Tibetan Buddhism has , and it is not likely that the paint- trum, shown in Fig. 7 [81], c1ear]y con- integrated earlier Bon traditions and the ing is of eastern Tibetan origin. Second, firms the finding. It is known that Prus- Bon pantheon into Buddhist practice. It is the Tibetan inscriptions of names are sian blue was synthesized for the first known that Buddhism has indeed a great connected by very thin pointed gold lines time in 1704 or shortly thereafter [41]. It assimilating power and easily allows for with the respective figure. This is a high- has been frequently used in European the simultaneous practicing of other tradi- ly unusual procedure to enhance clarity paintings in the second half of the 18th tions as well. On the other hand, in order (even where it is absolutely unneces- century. It was also produced in Goro- to survive, Bon also had to adapt, and it sary). No further thangkas (except for a dets, Siberia, before 1778. It is quite pos- enriched its dogma by Buddhist concepts. second member from the same series, sible that by the end of the 18th century, A second explanation was suggested showing Nampar Gya]wa, also in the col- Prussian blue found its way into by B. Laufer [77] and D.L. Snellgrove lection of the author) are known in col- and in the Ngawa or Gyaong area through [78]. They suggest that the pre-Buddhist lections outside of Tibet displaying the merchants via Chengdu. Prussian blue Bon reflects an earlier wave of Buddhism same feature. However, Per Kvaerne has achieved immediate popularity, being that reached Tibet. Perhaps already dur- photographed on a field trip to the Ngawa much easier to handle and less expensive ing the first century AD, Buddhism might area of eastern Tibet, presently part of than azurite. Also rather unusual for a Ti- have spread via the Kushana empire in Sichuan, a thangka, displaying Shenla betan thangka, the FTIR spectrum re- northern Pakistan and Kashmir into west- Wokar, which shows the same curious veals that the support for the Prussian ern Tibet and into a legendary area called feature [71][80]. It is likely that the blue is lead white, 2PbC03"Pb(OHh. , which is believed to be the thangka shown here originates from the Normally, Tibetan painters refrain from area of origin of Bon. Because of the lack Ngawa area or possibly from nearby using lead white which is known to be of written tradition, a distorted form of Gyarong. In both areas, the Bonpos had incompatible with cinnabar and orpi- Buddhism could have resulted, incorpo- traditionally a rather strong hold. ment. Taking into account the highly so- rating also earlier local animistic beliefs. An indication of its date of creation is phisticated and nevertheless enlivened Still today, a lot of mystery accompanies provided by an analysis of the pigments. style and the aged condition of the silk the origin of the Bon teachings. While most of the pigments used in this frame of a second painting of the same The principle figure on the thangka of painting are traditional, such as cinnabar series in the author's collection, it is Fig. 6 represents Takla Mebar who is and red lead, a chemical analysis of a suggested that the series of thangkas considered at the same time as a 'siddha', small particle of blue pigment under the were painted between 1780 and 1840. a (often historical) master of meditationa] microscope (Zeiss Axiolab with polariz- Another Bonpo painting, also in the and ritual practices, and as a 'yidam', a ing accessory and 100x magnification, author's collection, showing the power- focus of a meditational practice, called equipped with an ISIS vision enhancing ful ten-armed deity Kun bzang rgyal ba . Takla Mebar or the 'Tiger-god, system by Vision Engineering Ltd.) pro- 'dus pa [82], employs a further unusual flaming fire', is sometimes also claimed duced a positive test for iron with potassi- blue pigment. Chemical analysis and a to be a protector against the Buddhists. um thiocyanate in HCl solution [32]. spectroscopic investigation [81] confirm Indeed, he is a deity without direct corre- Among the feasible blue pigments, only the usage of smalt, which is a finely spondence in the Buddhist pantheon. He Prussian blue (Fe4[Fe(CN)6h) is compat- ground potassium glass of blue color carries in his right hand the wheel of the ible with the analysis. An FfIR spec- [38]. The blue originates from cobalt dharma and in his left hand the nine crossed swords giving him power over all 'nine ways of Bon' which represent the major Bon tantric practices documented in the Bonpo script gZi-brjid [78]. He has a third (tantric) eye, flaming hair, and is surrounded by a circle of flames, like most protector deities. He is accompa- nied by numerous minor deities, most of b them identified by their names. Unlike the frequent difficulties of the iconographic identification of Bonpo %T c paintings, this one does not pose many problems. However questions remain about the date of production and about its geographical origin. The quality of paint- ing is unusually high for a Bonpo paint- ing and might have been executed in a workshop producing Bon and Buddhist thangkas side by side. Three details might provide further clues. First, the en- 4000 3000 2000 1500 1000 circled figure at the lower right is Machen Pomra [71][79], a local protector 1/cm residing on the Amye Machen mountain massive in Amdo which is spiritually part Fig. 7. (a)FTIRspectrum of blue pigment ofthe sky in the thangka of Fig. 6, (b) Reference spectrum of 'greater' Tibet. Indeed, there are still of Prussian blue. (c) Reference spectrum of lead white. (d) Reference spectrum of gelatin. today numerous Bonpo monasteries in Recorded with Perkin-Elmer System 2000 [81]. ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 909

CHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

added during its manufacture. It is chem- ically extremely inert and its grains are of irregular shape. This allows an easy dis- tinction from other blue pigments by chemical microscopy. It is known that smalt was prepared and used in central Asia already during the 11th century. It has been found in remainders of wall paint- ings in the ruins of the Tangut city Khara Khoto [38][83], occupying an oasis in the Gobi desert. Smalt is not known to have been used in central Tibet, and its occur- rence could be an indication of a northern origin of the thangka. Bonpo activities are well documented in north-eastern Tibet.

4. , the Conqueror of Death

The remarkable pamtmg of Fig. 8, published in [10], may provide a spiritual link between art and science. Yamantaka, or 'the one who terminates ', is considered as a , a protector of the teaching. He overcomes the deity of death, Yama. Obviously, he is an im- portant figure in the context of Buddhist death rituals. His great power is ex- pressed by his nine heads, thirty-four arms, and eight legs. He tramples with his feet on mortal beings, animals and hu- mans. He is surrounded by red flames which destroy all evil. His thirty-four hands carry symbolic objects which rep- resent his powerful features. Among them, one finds the hook (ankusa), the three jewels (), the ritual wand (khatvanga), the double skull drum Fig. 8a. Tibetan thangka of the yidam Yamant aka, the conqueror of death. He is an emanation (), the bow (capa), and many of the of wisdom, Manjusri. He is surrounded by a (Sakya?) lineage in the upper half and the ten deities of the directions on their symbolic animals on the lower left and right sides, others, each having its own special mean- some representations of Yam a at the lower edge with Vajrapani in the lower center, with sun and ing. The central bull head, he has in com- moon deities at the lower left side, together with a celebrating monk in the lower left corner. 15th mon with Yama. He carries seven more century. 90 x 82 cm. frightful heads, all of them with a third mystic eye. But the ninth top head has a peaceful expression. It represents Man- The frightful emanation of a peaceful right columns, there are further monks, jusri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom. In fact, Bodhisattva visualizes a deep truth of the ten deities of the directions on their Yamantaka is considered as an emana- eastern, and in particular Buddhist phi- symbolic animals, and on the lower left tion of Manjusri who is a protector ofTi- losophy [] 1-15]. Expressed often in the the deity of the red sun (Rakta Aditya) bet [22]. Actually, Manjusri is shown just form of the Yin-Yang symbol, it symbol- and of the white moon (Sita Candra). The above the Yamantaka heads. He carries izes the connectedness of the spiritual monk at the lower left corner performs in his left hand the book of wisdom and in world where 'good' and 'bad' are aspects the ritual of Yamantaka. In the lower his right, he swings a sword cutting of the same profound truth, and where the center, one finds the Bodhisattva Vajra- through the clouds of ignorance. two terms cannot as easily be antitheti- pani, surrounded by further companions It is remarkable that wisdom and con- cally separated as we in the west often of Yamantaka. quering death are put in a close context. pretend. Correspondingly, many Tibetan The powerful Yamantaka painting is This view closely matches the scientist's deities and deified historical persons may likely to originate from southern central philosophy, who strives for immortality appear in their peaceful or frightful as- Tibet. The dominance of the red cinnabar by publishing immortal truths which pects, often in the same painting. suggests a connection to early Nepalese hopefully will survive the discoverer by In the top row, one finds the blue painting schools which strongly influ- many centuries. Indeed, a strong motiva- Adibuddha Vajradhara (left from the enced Tibetan painting between the 11th tion for scientific activities is the creation center), a further blue Buddha, four Indi- and 15th centuries. Based on stylistic rea- of lasting monuments. In science also an mahasiddhas, a yellow lay person, and soning, one would date the painting wisdom tries to conquer death. five Tibetan monks. In the far left and around ]400, as suggested by the previ- ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 910

CHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

Fig. 8b. Detail from Fig. 8a with the nine heads of Yamantaka of which the top head belongs to Manjusri who is shown in full in the center above with the book of wisdom in his left and a sword in his right to cut through the clouds of ignorance. 37 x 29 em.

ously mentioned golden triangles behind attempt a comprehensive representation a meditational procedure. They become a most of the figures, by the execution of of the spiritual universe. In this sense, spiritual reality exclusively for the medi- the arch in each individual icon and by they have similar ambitions as elementa- tating person. their strict geometric arrangement, giving ry particle physicists and cosmologists The , shown in Fig. 9a, pub- a mandala-like impression. The inscrip- trying to understand the most inner work- lished in [7] and [86], represents a most tions along the lower edge and on the re- ings of nature. They are centered on a important and also most complex Kala- verse side do not provide much insight venerated deity. The serve as chakra ('wheel of time') tantra which at- into the date of origin. 14C dating led to meditational aids in focusing one's atten- tempts to unify space and time [87], a the period 1472-1648 [66]. The earliest tion sequentially on deeper and deeper goal remotely similar to modern physics. date compatible with the 14C data is aspects of the deity, progressing mentally It forms the culmination of a series of 26 70 years later than the stylistic estimate. from the periphery to the center of the mandalas forming the Vajravali tantric A late 15th century date could be ac- mandala. liturgy written in the II th century by the ceptable but the proposal of a 16th or 17th Often, mandalas are intimately con- Indian sage [88]. The century date would offend most 'thangka nected with one or the other of the great Kalachakra rite is also regularly celebrat- experts'; they trust their stylistic feeling Tibetan (or originally Indian) , ed by the 14th . The rather better. each providing a particular pathway of small-sized mandala is extremely finely redemption under the guidance of a executed in its detailing and requires knowledgeable or teacher. The much magnification for a careful study, 5. Kalachakra Mandala name figure of a tantra is a virtual deity, The central 24-armed and four-faced dei- called a Sadhita. Sadhitas have, accord- ty Kalachakra is shown enlarged in Mandalas are feasts of symmetries ing to the Buddhist dogma, no real exist- Fig 9b, embracing his eight-armed fe- and broken symmetries [84][85]. They ence but are invoked only in the course of male consort Vishvamata. ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 911 CHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

Fig. 9a. Kalachakra mandala painted, accord- ing to an inscription, at the central Tibetan monastery of Ngor in honor of the deceased 11th abbot Sangye Senge (1535-1569) and commissioned by the 13th abbot of Ngor, Pelzang (1535-1602). Painted after 1569.54.6 x 49.5 em.

The meditator experiences the man- sentations of the transcendent Buddhas 6. A Nepalese Paubha dala starting from the periphery. The out- and a circle with eight eight-armed Shak- Laksha-chaitya side ring is called the 'burning ground en- ti deities finally lead the meditator to the closure', consisting of a circle of flames, central Kalachakra. Although the enormously large Tibet- a representation of the eight Indian mys- The origin of this extraordinary man- an empire of the early period between tical cemeteries and a lotus circle. This is dala can be localized and dated based on 700 and 800 could not be maintained for the first hurdle which the meditator has to an inscription at the lower edge [89]. It long, the Tibetan Buddhist influence sur- overcome. The four differently colored was painted in the famous Ngor monas- vived in a wide area extending from La- quadrants represent the four elements: tery near Shigatse, commissioned by the dakh to Beijing and from Nepal to Buria- air, water, fire, and soil. Inside follows 13th abbot Namkha Pelzang (1535- tia. Thangkas are known that originate the great body-mandala palace (Kay a- 1569) in honor of the deceased 11th ab- from all these regions. In Nepal, a charac- mandala) with four huge doors occupied bot Sangye Senge (1504-1569) [62] and teristic, highly refined painting style has by guardians. This palace contains must therefore have been painted in the persisted up to present times. Buddhist twelve very tiny mandalas, executed in early 1570s. The Sakyapa Ngor monas- and Hindu paintings exist here side by all details, representing the twelve tery had at that time already a long tradi- side and have cross-fertilized each other months, each characterized by an animal. tion in the creation of highest quality during centuries of coexistence [58-60]. The next inner square represents the mandalas and other thangkas. Fortunate- The paintings are here called 'paubhas'. speech-mandala palace (Vacmandala), ly, many master pieces have found their A particularly beautiful, ancient Ne- again with eight doors and with eight way into the west, while the monastery palese paubha is presented in Fig. 10 even tinier mandalas. Then follows the itself was completely destroyed under the [90]. It was commissioned on the occa- mind-mandala palace of similar design. command of the 'peace-loving' Chinese sion of the performance of a Laksha- A further square filled with tantric repre- intruders. chaitya rite. Special merits can be ac- ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 912

eHIMIA 2001,55, No. 11

to have been produced much later: be- tween 1688-1733, 1812-1926, or even 1954-1956! Taking into account the ex- tremely skilful painting, the unique sub- ject, not likely to be copied, the obviously aged cotton, and the 'aging' damages, it is highly improbable that the paubha was produced or copied during the 19th or 20th century. However, it is known that the painting has recently been restored. Although care has been taken to sample the original unaffected cotton, it could be that some recent material has contaminat- ed the sample. Often, the edges of a thangka are the most worn and are the first to be restored, without much danger of damaging the painting itself. It is like- ly that some restored material has been sampled. It becomes clear that, in gener- al, J4C data of thangkas have to be inter- preted with great caution. Nepalese painters apply somewhat different pigments and binders than the Tibetan ones. Malachite and azurite are rarely used for green and blue, respec- tively. Mostly, a blue paint is obtained by mixing indigo with some whitening ma- terial, such as chalk or kaolin. The green is produced by mixing indigo with orpiment (As2S3) or perhaps Indian yel- low (a magnesium or calcium salt of eux- anthinic acid) [93]. The binder receives often an oily component, and the paint resembles sometimes egg tempera with more glaze than Tibetan paintings. Nepa- lese paintings are somewhat less sensi- tive to water damage. Nevertheless, few- er early Nepalese paintings have survived because the hot, humid climate in the Katmandu valley disfavors their preser- Fig. 9b. Detail ofthe Kalachakra mandala of Fig. 9a showing Kalaehakra together with Vishvamata vation. in yab-yum. surrounded by eight deities. 9.6 x 7.8 em. The paubha was executed on cotton, covered with a gesso consisting of gyp- sum. A rather restricted set of pigments quired, according to an old Nepalese digit number: 568. As the Nepalese time has been used. All blue shades are de- tradition when one hundred thousand zero is the year 880, the painting was rived from indigo. Neither azurite nor (laksha) stu pas (chaitya) are dedicated to consecrated in 1448. The inscription also malachite was applied. The green is a a deity. This was normally done symboli- mentions" ... during the reign of the Ki ng mixture of indigo and orpiment. The lat- cally by a painting showing many (in- of Kings Sri Sri Jaya Jaya Malladeva ... " ter is also the pigment for the yelIow are- stead of a hundred thousand) small chait- [91]. A king of this name is historically as. In addition the heavy usage of carbon yas [60]. Nepalese paintings often dis- not documented. Actually, from 1428 to black gives the painting a solid and defi- play at the bottom the family of donors 1482, King Jaya Jaksa Malladeva reigned nite appearance. with men on the left and women on the [92]. Perhaps a single syllable was mis- right. Stylistically, one can date the paint- printed or, perhaps, the repetition of ing to between 1350 and 1500. In Nepal, 'Jaya' was used in his colloquial Newari Arts and Sciences, Concluding even more than in Tibet, traditional styles name. Perhaps, the repetition refers to the Remarks have been maintained for long periods. fact that, initially, the King reigned to- In many Nepalese paintings, an in- gether with his younger brother Jaya Jiva Conservation and restoration of pre- scription indicates both the date and the Malladeva (who died in 1447) [92]. Also cious art works is as demanding as the names of the donors. In our painting, the the names of the donors and, a rare event, practice of medicine, perhaps even more date at the beginning of the inscription is even the names of the artists who worked so. While a human being is to a remarka- damaged and cannot be read by eye or on this paubha are mentioned. ble degree error-tolerant (otherwise most magnifying glass. However with an in- A recent 14C analysis [66] led to the medical practitioners would have lost frared camera one can encipher the three surprise that the sampled cotton appears their jobs by now), art works can easily ART AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES 913 CHIMIA 2001,55. No. 11

Acknowledgements The author is indebted to Dr. Amy Heller (Nyon) for numerous enlightening discussions ~ .•. ". and E-mail exchanges without which this work would have been impossible. The paper profited from revealing suggestions on some of the dis- cussed thangkas by Dr. Pratapaditya Pal (, Pasadena), Prof. David P. Jackson (Universi@ Hamburg), Prof. Per Kvaerne (University of Oslo), Dr. Heather Stod- dard (Paris), and Ian Alsop (Santa Fe, New Mexico). The author is grateful to Michael Henss (Zurich), Ulrich und Heidi von Schroeder (Weesen), Professor Markus Speidel (ETH ZUrich), and Jack Zimmerman (New York) for stimulating discussions on Tibetan art, to Prof. Robert Fuchs (Fachhochschule KOIn) for the in- troduction into historical painting techniques, to Dr. Christoph Herm (Schweizerisches Institut fUr Kunstwissenschaft) for two FfIR pigment analyses, and to Dr. George Bonani (ETH Zurich) for the /4C dating. Financial support by Bruker AG, Hillanden, is acknowledged.

Received: August 28, 200 I

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