SOAS University of London

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

Dr Chiara Bellini

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Publications


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. 


Authored Books

Bellini, Chiara (2018) Storia dell’arte del Tibet e dei Paesi Himalayani. Torino: Einaudi. [Forthcoming]

Bellini, Chiara (2015) Nel Paese delle Nevi. Storia Culturale del Tibet dal VII al XXI secolo. Torino: Einaudi.

Bellini, Chiara (2011) Svelare il Paese delle Nevi. L’Alphabetum Tibetanum di Agostino Antonio Giorgi. Uno studio preliminare. Rimini: Pazzini.


Bellini, Chiara (2018) 'Some Pieces of the Puzzle: The Restoration of the Alchi gSum brtsegs by bKra shis rNam rgyal and Other Considerations'. Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology. [Forthcoming]

Bellini, Chiara (2014) 'Treasures from the Neighbouring Kingdoms: A Preliminary Report on Portable Buddhist Statues in Ladakhi Monasteries'. Orientations, (45) 5, pp 89-95.

Bellini, Chiara (2013) 'ilievi litici buddhisti in Ladakh: il loro contesto paesaggistico e il loro significato simbolico e culturale fra tradizione e modernità, in Parol'. Quaderni d’arte e di epistemologia, (23) Jan/Jun, pp 75-91.

Bellini, Chiara (2010) 'I cicli pittorici delle grotte di Sa spo la in Ladak: un esempio artistico del XV secolo nel Tibet indiano'. Quaderni Asiatici, (92) Dec.

Bellini, Chiara (2009) 'An Autobiography by David Snellgrove'. East and West, (59) 1/4, pp 349-365.

Edited Books or Journals

Lo Bue, E. and Bellini, Chiara, (eds.), (2018) Arte del Ladakh. Tesori di arte buddhista nel Tibet indiano dall’XI al XX secolo. Milan: Jaco Book. [Forthcoming]

Lo Bue, Erberto and Bellini, Chiara (contributor), (eds.), (2011) Images of Devotion: Religious Sculpture from Nepal, Tibet and India. Como: Studio Nodo.

Book Chapters

Bellini, Chiara (2018) 'Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa: il divino sognatore sull’oceano cosmico. Significato simbolico dell’acqua nell’arte Newar della Valle del Nepal'. In: Piegari, Donato, (ed.), Armonie d’Acqua. Florence: Carocci. [Forthcoming]

Bellini, Chiara (2014) 'The mGon khang of dPe thub (Spituk): A Rare Example of 15th Century Tibetan Painting from Ladakh'. In: Lo Bue, Erberto and Bray, John, (eds.), Art and Architecture in Ladakh: Cross-cultural Transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram. Leiden: Brill, pp 226-253.

Bellini, Chiara (2012) 'Tradition and Innovation. Western Influences in the artistic production of the Nepali Painter Mukti Singh Thapa'. Art and Aesthetics in the Age of Globalization. Italy/Japan Research Workshops in Bologna 26-27 marzo 2012, Bologna. Osaka: Osaka University, pp 14-21.

Bellini, Chiara (2012) 'Examples of beauty at the court of Seng ge rNam gyal: the style of painting in Ladakh in the 17th and 18th centuries'. In: De Rossi Filibeck, E., (ed.), Tibetan Art between Past and Present : Studies Dedicated to Luciano Petech ; Proceedings of the Conference held in Rome on the 3rd November 2010. Pisa; Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, pp 95-116.

Bellini, Chiara (2012) 'Il divino sognatore che riposa sulle acque: iconografia e significato simbolico dell’immagine di Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa nella Valle del Nepal'. In: Soravia, Giulio, (ed.), Miscellanea Orientalia. Bologna: Bonomo, pp 1-22.

Bellini, Chiara (2012) 'Adorare le ceneri o tramandare il fuoco? Mukti Singh Thapa e gli sviluppi dell’arte buddhista tradizionale nel XXI secolo'. In: Soravia, Giulio, (ed.), Miscellanea Orientalia. Bologna: Bonomo, pp 51-66.

Bellini, Chiara (2012) 'I piccoli templi di Phuntsokling e Gomphuk nel villaggio di Lubra: due esempi contemporanei di arte Pönpo nel Lo (Mustang)'. In: Soravia, Giulio, (ed.), Miscellanea Orientalia. Bologna: Bonomo, pp 23-50.

Bellini, Chiara (2010) 'Pönpo and Buddhist Art in 20th-Century Lo (Mustang)'. In: Lo Bue, Erberto F., (ed.), Wonders of Lo: The Artistic Heritage of Mustang. Mumbai: Marg Publications.

Bellini, Chiara and Villa, L. (2010) 'Muti testimoni di un istante fugace: due prospettive a confronto sull’album fotografico di Lamberto Loria'. In: Cevenini, Daniele and D’Onofrio, Svevo, (eds.), Conflitti e dissensi nell'Islam. 'Uyun al-Akhbar. Studi sul mondo islamico 4.. Bologna: Editrice Odoya.

Bellini, Chiara (2010) 'Tradizione o innovazione? ‘Orientarsi’ nell’arte tibetana tradizionale e moderna'. Passato e presente della pittura tibetana. Milan: Catalogue No. 25, pp 4-9.

Bellini, Chiara (2009) 'La principessa musulmana e il sovrano buddhista: un matrimonio oltre la ŠARĪ‘A'. In: Cevenini, Daniele and D’Onofrio, Svevo, (eds.), Conflitti e dissensi nell'Islam. 'Uyun al-Akhbar. Studi sul mondo islamico. Editrice Il Ponte: Bologna, pp 141-151.

Bellini, Chiara (2008) 'Il sovrano e l’arciere: tracce islamiche nell’arte buddhista del Ladakh'. In: Cevenini, Daniele and D’Onofrio, Svevo, (eds.), Incontri con l'altro e incroci di culture. 'Uyun al-Akhbar. Studi sul mondo islamico. Bologna: Editrice Il Ponte, pp 13-27.


This list was last generated on Monday, 26th August 2019, 06:22 Europe/London.