Marpa, 2010

Acrylic on paper

30 x 22 inches (sheet)


Marpa Lotsava (1012-1097) made important contributions to the spread of Buddhism in Tibet by traveling to India, studying with Indian Buddhist teachers, and bringing back and translating important texts. He founded the Kagyu order and most famously was the teacher of Milarepa.

This work was inspired by a 13th century Tibetan thanka which idealizes Marpa’s appearance. In other depictions he is shown with a stern countenance that is more in line with the gruff and difficult personality described in biographies.

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