Patron and Painter
Precursors to the
Encampment Style

The Karmapas are the successive heads of one of the main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karma Kagyu, and since the twelfth century have been considered some of the most eminent lamas of Tibet. As the Encampment painting tradition was born in the courts of these religious hierarchs, it is important to look at the paintings of early masters within their lineage to understand from where this new style came. Looking at the tradition of painting within this line of teachers also makes it clear that the Encampment style was a radical break from earlier Tibetan artistic movements, which had been firmly grounded in Indian and Nepalese aesthetics.

Scenes from the Life of the Fourth Shamar,
Chodag Yeshe Palzang (1453–1524)

Central Tibet; 16th century
Ground mineral pigment with fine gold line on cotton
38.75 x 25 in.
Rubin Museum of Art
C2006.66.1 (HAR 2)