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Title: The iconography of the 'Drinking Scene' in the Dukhang at Alchi, Ladakh
Author: Alafouzo, Marjo
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis discusses the iconography of "The Royal Drinking Scene", a mural situated in the Dukhang at Alchi, Ladakh. The mural is a rare occurrence of a secular scene amidst Buddhist portrayal in a Tibetan temple. The iconographic analysis in this thesis aims to specify artistic currents in the scene, and to place them into a more defined cultural context. Previous academic research has noted the foreign influences in the mural, but has failed to determine their origin. This is partly due to lack of coherent written historical sources for 7th - 11th century Ladakh. Thus, in addition to comparative and stylistic art historical analysis, and meagre Tibetan written accounts, this thesis will incorporate Islamic geographical records to add information to the region's pre-12th century history. Through the examination of the region's road connections to the west, Ladakh's role in Tibetan empire will also be ascertained. The art historical discussion will include a comparative study of the architecture of the Dukhang, which shows archaic, non- Tibetan traditions. The inscriptional evidence forms an important part of establishing a historical background for the mural. The main approach in an attempt to define the mural's foreign, non-Tibetan elements, however, is art historical. Therefore, the available historical evidence will mainly be used to support the art historical finding of "The Royal Drinking Scene", which will be summarised by examining a previously unpublished mural in the Dukhang. The iconographical analysis undertaken in this thesis will suggest a new interpretation for the 11th century history of Ladakh.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral