On 09 June 2017 at 17:10

Discovering Tibetan Art: the story of the Giuseppe Tucci paintings

Deborah Klimburg-Salter

Giuseppe Tucci is often called the father of modern Tibetology. His magisterial work Tibetan Painted Scrolls (1949) is without doubt the single most influential work on Tibetan art. This volume publishes tangkas he acquired during his eight Tibetan expeditions, from 1928-1948, each averaging about 6 months each. He selected 125 of these paintings for the museum he founded, the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome. This lecture focuses on selected paintings from this collection recently cleaned and restored to their original brilliance.

The paintings will be contextualized both through Tucci’s own observations and the dramatic photographs taken during the Tucci expeditions, as well as the most recent art historical and conservation research.


Through the Lectures, Deborah Limburg-Salter will present and autograph her book The Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Paintings. During his first voyages of exploration to the Indian Himalayas from 1926, Giuseppe Tucci encountered a world poor in material comforts but rich in wisdom. These wisdom traditions had been transcribed in brilliant colours into pictures of teachers, gods, and their paradises, covering the interior walls of

mud brick temples. From 1926 up to his last Tibetan expedition in 1948, Tucci was able to collect over 200 portable paintings. Each of the paintings has its own story, which the volume brings to life through photographs of traditional Tibet from the Tucci expeditions, as well as contributions on the meaning of the sacred images. Through these paintings, the viewer can see images of a Cosmos that reflect our earthly existence, where every being has his/her own place but is connected, in ever widening circles, with everything around, and also whit what has come before and is waiting in the future.



BIP - Rue Royale 2-4, 1000 Bruxelles


On 09 June 2017 at 17:10

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Deborah Klimburg-Salter

With a Ph.d. from harvard university and the habilitation from the university of Vienna Deborah Klimburg-Salter is univ. Professor emerita of Asian Art history at the institute of Art history, university of Vienna, former director of Cirdis (Center for interdisciplinary research and documentation inner and south Asia) and Associate of the department of South Asian studies, Harvard university. She has taught the art history of South and Central Asia as well as Tibet and the himalayan regions both in Austria and, as Guest Professor in

distinguished universities in Europe, north America and Asia. 


Currently directs research programs on the history of Art of Afghanistan, south Asia and Tibet, and a program dedicated to heritage Preservation in Afghanistan and capacity building at the Kabul national Museum, Afghanistan.


Research interests particularly in Afghanistan through northern india, Tibet and Central Asia. Emphasis on the monastic arts and cultural history of the early medieval periods.


Special commitment to heritage Preservation and post-colonial cultural heritage awareness.


Among her more than 60 articles and 18 authored, edited and co-edited books are:

(1997) Tabo. A Lamp for the Kingdom; (1989) The Kingdom of Bāmiyān: The Buddhist Art and Culture of the Hindu Kush; Coins, Art, and Chronology. Essays on the pre-Islamic History of the Indo-Iranian Borderlands (together with M.Alram);(2010) Coins, Art and Chronology II. The First Millennium CE in the Indo-Iranian (2015)


She has curated a number of international exhibits including: (1995) Buddha in Indien. Die frühindische Skulptur von König Aśoka bis zur Guptazeit (exhibition catalogue), (1982) The Silk Route and the Diamond Path: Esoteric Buddhist Art on the Trans-Himalayan Trade Routes. Most recently the exhibitions in Rome and Genoa: Discovering Tibet – The Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Painting. Skira Milan. (2015). Alla scoperta del Tibet – Le spedizioni di Giuseppe Ticci e i dipinti Tibetani.

To open in February, 2018 at Asia society in New York.