'Dalai Lama the Immortal God', c 1700.
3 5 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm

'Dalai Lama the Immortal God', c 1700.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving of Tshans-dbyans-rgya-mtsho or Tsangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706), spiritual leader of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. He was an unconventional Dalai Lama, drank wine, enjoyed women's company and wrote love songs still popular in Tibet. The Mongol leader Lhabzang Khan invaded Tibet and deposed Tsangyang Gyatso who died while leaving the country; he may have been murdered. From 'Three Years Travels from Moscow over-land to China' by Evert Ysbrants Ides, published in London in 1706. In 1692 Peter the Great of Rusia (1672-1725) sent his ambasador Ides overland on a diplomatic mision to China, a trip which took nearly three years. Ides' book describes 'the extent and limits of those countries, and the customs of the barbarous inhabitants'.

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