Rob Linrothe. Preliminary Report on 15th Century Murals in Zangskar
In the religious and cultural spheres of Tibet, the first half of the 15th century is marked by at least two major events. In the sphere of religion, it spanned the final two decades of the life of Tsongkhapa (tsong kha pa; 1357-1419) and the founding of the New Kadampa (bka’gdams pa) order, or what was to become the dominant religious lineage of much of Tibet, the Gelug (dge’ lugs; ‘Virtuous Tradition’). In the arts, a landmark of Tibetan art history was largely completed in the second quarter of the 15th century: the Kumbum of Gyantse. This monument is generally regarded as a benchmark of the maturation of Tibetan art; it is framed as an indication of progress towards the transcendence or integration of outside ‘influences’ (Newari, eastern Indian, Central Asian and Chinese) into a distinctively Tibetan amalgam.