Monday, 1 June 2009

Rare portrait of Genghis Khan discovered in 2006 in north China temple

This "old" news I found on the site "Mongolian Matters - News from Mongolia".
Beijing, Aug 24: A rare Thangka portrait of legendary Mongol leader Genghis Khan has been discovered in a Tibetan Buddhist temple in north China`s inner Mongolia autonomous region, a local cultural heritage official announced.

The painting was drawn by a Late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Mongolian artist, probably in the nineteenth century, Wang Dafang, an official with the Cultural Heritage Bureau of Inner Mongolia said.

The portrait is painted on a piece of cloth 28.5 cm long and 21 cm wide. The painting shows Genghis Khan in martial attire, riding a white horse and holding a banner in his right hand, with a bow and a quiver of arrows on his back, according to Wang.

Thangka is a Tibetan art form that dates back 1,000 years and which mainly depicts images from Tibetan Buddhism, Wang was quoted as saying by a newsagency."

To put this "old" news more in perspective, the following item is from

More about portraits of Chingis Khan

There are almost no portraits of Genghis Khan,of the ones that exist it is impossible to tell if it is really his likeness. Some researchers consider that his image was either middle Asian or European. In 1368, the Mongols,who were excluded from the Yuan dynasty Capital City, did not take many things because they believed the invading force was returning soon. The Chinese ruined and destroyed the cities including monasteries, houses, buildings, art and books. When the Mongols moved on, the Chinese felt they should destroy their culture .
Still 20th century researchers did know that the rare monuments and papers including Genghis Khan’s portrait, those that remained from the Mongol movement, were hidden by Chinese lords.
Mongolian cultures and arts were ruined during the many battles. In 1924, Chinese marshal Fen Yui Syan conquered Beijing by expelling Manchu Khan Pu Ei. In his house were over 500 pictures including portraits of 8 Mongolian khans and 7 queens. Also there were other treasures connected to the Mongol and Yuan State. New findings have suggested that there was indeed an original picture of Genghis. Mongolian painter, Khar Khasun painted the original portrait in 1287. In the portrait his image was drawn as a man of tall body, the hair on his face scanty and white, with black eyes, brown face, and possessed with great energy.

The only existing portrait preserved until today was painted in 1278, almost a half a century after his death. Khubilai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, ordered artist Khorisun to paint the portrait, and asked some of Genghis Khan’s few remaining trusted men to overlook the painting and make sure it reflects the true image.

No comments: