SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Chiara Bellini

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Chiara Bellini
Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Postdoctoral Researcher in Tibetan and Buddhist Art

Dr Chiara Bellini
Email address:
020 7898 4699
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Brunei Gallery
Office No:


Chiara Bellini studied Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the Department of History, Culture and Civilities (formally: Department of Oriental Studies), University of Bologna, Italy, with a focus on historical art subjects. She completed her PhD in Tibetan Studies at University of Turin, under the supervision of the Professor Erberto Lo Bue. Following her PhD she held research positions as Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bologna until 2017. She has done field research in Ladakh (India), Mustang (Nepal) and Tibet. Before joining SOAS she was selected as Assistant Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.


Chiara Bellini’s primary research area is the artistic and cultural aspect of regions in the Indian sub-continent and Central Asia, notably Tibet, Ladakh, Mustang and Nepal. She has dedicated specific studies to the history, politics, iconography and style of cycles of paintings executed within certain temples and stupas in Ladakh from the 11th to the 17th century, focusing particularly on what can be learnt about the relationship between the Court and Religious Orders.  She has also taken an interest in the historical, anthropological and political aspects of the work produced by contemporary traditional and non-traditional Himalayan painters.

In her field work in Mustang she has carried out research, in particular, on the Bon and Buddhist art, working on collections of metal images preserved in various monasteries of Lo. Recently she has focused her research on portable statues of Kashmiri, Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese origins preserved in monasteries, temples and private chapels of Ladakh and Mustang.

As Postdoctoral Researcher at SOAS she is involved in the AHRC Project: Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Collections Today, under the supervision of Prof Christian Luczanits.