Golden Eminence

Treasures from the Palace Museum and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery



Tibetan Buddhism boasts a long history and has played an important role in Chinese history since the 17th century. Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, which has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, is one of the four great monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism’s Gelug lineage. The Qing dynasty saw a close political relationship established between successive Panchen Lamas and the court. Today, offerings that were given to the Panchen Lamas and, in turn, gifts that went to the emperors are housed in both the Palace Museum and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. These gifts bear witness to the ties that were forged and strengthened over many years. The Qing emperors respected Tibetan Buddhism. During their reigns, a substantial number of Buddhist artworks were created according to Han and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Among the Palace Museum’s collection of Tibetan Buddhist relics, there are exquisite wares that were crafted in the Qing Imperial Workshops, as well as priceless gifts from the Mongolian and Tibetan regions. These pieces – each one precious and each one of incalculable historical value – demonstrate the inclusive and open culture of the Chinese nation.

A total of 137 pieces of treasures from the collections of both the Palace Museum and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery are on display in this exhibition. These meticulously selected artworks tell the story of the exchanges between the successive Panchen Lamas and the Qing court, showing the unity and integration among diverse ethnic groups along the way. They also highlight the undeniable contributions made by the Panchen Lamas in the establishment of a unified, multi-ethnic country.