J. F. Rock, Butter sculpture representing the bodhisattva Tchenrezi (1926) Chone Monastery © École française d’Extrême-Orient EFEO_CHI07973

Ornements blancs et beurre coloré: Devenir d’une forme de sculpture monumentale tibétaine

Many are familiar with Tibetan butter lamps, whose soft light brings out the golden faces of metal Buddhas and lamas from the darkness of a shrine. Less known, however, is the use of butter as a material for monumental sculpture as part of a long tradition in Tibet. Can these perishable images be displayed in museums, when their creation is linked to a precise context and their know-how is as admirable as it is little known?
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