During the second half of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century, the Gyantse rulers were important patrons of religious works in the Tsang region. Their achievements are more particularly known through the two emblematic monuments of the Pelkhor Chöde monastery: Tsuglagkhang and Kumbum. However, other remains also bear witness to their patronage on the same site. This is the case of the main temple and its upper chapel built within their fortress at the turn of the 15th century. Despite the major damages caused by the British expedition of 1904, then during the Cultural Revolution, these two buildings still retain remnants of mural paintings of remarkable quality, testifying to different stylistic influences. In the case of the upper chapel, decorated with large mandalas, the aesthetics of newari is particularly strong.
As part of this conference, we shall highlight the interest for the history of Tibetan painting of these pictorial remains, which have not been studied in detail. We will also show that they are a useful milestone for understanding the Pelkhor Chöde productions.