SOAS University of London

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

Christian Luczanits

  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications

Overview

Christian Luczanits
Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art

School of Arts

David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art

Tibetan Studies

Member, Tibetan Studies Group

Centre of Buddhist Studies

Committee Member, Centre of Buddhist Studies

The Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

Interim Research and Publications Sub-board Chair

Name:
Dr Christian Luczanits
Email address:
Telephone:
020 7898 4162
Address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Building:
Brunei Gallery
Office No:
B407
Office Hours:
Friday 10am-12pm

Biography

Christian Luczanits studied Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, with a focus on art historical subjects. There he completed his PhD under the external supervision of the late Maurizio Taddei, Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli. Following his PhD he held research positions at the University of Vienna until 2000, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2000 to 2003, and the Lumbini International Research Institute, 2005/06. Christian Luczanits also held visiting professorships at UC Berkeley in 2004/05, at Free University in Berlin 2006–08, and at Stanford University and UC Berkeley in the first half of 2010. While teaching in Berlin Christian Luczanits also curated the exhibition "Gandhara – the Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise" at the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn together with Michael Jansen and was responsible for its catalogue. Before joining SOAS he has been Senior Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.

Teaching

Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Ayesha Fuentes, On the use of human remains in Tibetan ritual objects
  • Heidi Tan, Curating the Sacred: Pagoda Museums in Myanmar
  • Kulamitra David Zukas, Revealing the Religious Landscape at Bhaja, Bedsa and Karle, Buddhist Rock-cut Monasteries
  • Yael Shiri, The Identity of the Śākya Clan as a Mirror of Buddhist Identity in Ancient South Asia (working title)

Research

Christian Luczanits’ primary research area is the period when the Tibetans took over Buddhism from India, and when Tibetan Buddhism gradually developed its distinctive form (7th to 15th centuries). Throughout this period, the art preserved in Himalayan monuments contributes substantially to the understanding of later Buddhist art in South Asia and the development of Indian esoteric religious forms in general, the processes of adoption and adaptation of these forms in the formulation of a distinctively Tibetan Buddhism, and the competing public faces of Buddhism in Tibet. Within this broader frame he most extensively works on the monuments in and artefacts from the Western Himalayas and their relation to developments in Central Tibet.

More recent research focuses on early Buddhist art during and after the Kushana period (1st to 5th centuries), in particular the representations of the Bodhisattva and future Buddha Maitreya and their relationship to the development of Mahayana Buddhism.

Publications

Authored Books

Luczanits, Christian (2004) Buddhist Sculpture in Clay: Early Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries. Chicago: Serindia.

Articles

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'Portable Heritage in the Himalayas. The Example of Namgyal Monastery, Mustang: Part 2, Books and Stupas'. Orientations, pp 22-32.

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'Portable Heritage in the Himalayas. The Example of Namgyal Monastery, Mustang: Part 1, Sculpture'. Orientations, (47) 2, pp 120-130.

Luczanits, Christian and Namgyel, Dorji (2015) 'What Is Bhutanese about Paintings from Bhutan?'. Marg, (66) 4, pp 82-99.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'Bringing a Masterwork Back to Life?'. Orientations, (45) 2, pp 184-186.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'The Cave of Great Adepts'. Orientations, (45) 5, pp 50-61.

Luczanits, Christian (2009) 'Indian and Himalayan Collections at the Walters'. Arts of Asia, (39) 1, pp 72-81.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Buddhism in a Cosmopolitan Environment: The Art of Gandhara'. Orientations, (39) 7, pp 46-52.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'In the Blazing Light of Tibet'. Orientations, (39) 6, pp 80-84.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Buddhismus im multikulturellen Umfeld: Die Kunst Gandhāras'. Indo-Asiatische Zeitschrift. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für indo-asiatische Kunst, (12), pp 5-18.

Luczanits, Christian (2005) 'The Bodhisattva with the Flask in Gandhāran Narrative Scenes'. East and West, dedicated to Maurizio Taddei, (55) 1–4, pp 163-188.

Luczanits, Christian (2005) 'Infinite Variety. Form and Appearance in Tibetan Buddhist Art. Part I'. Lotus Leaves, (7) 2, pp 1-9.

Luczanits, Christian (2005) 'Infinite Variety. Form and Appearance in Tibetan Buddhist Art. Part II'. Lotus Leaves, (7) 1, pp 7-14.

Linrothe, Robert N. and Luczanits, Christian and Watt, Jeff (2004) 'Turning a Blind Eye'. Orientations, (35) 5, pp 73-74.

Luczanits, Christian (2003) 'Early Tibetan Clay Sculpture'. Aziatische Kunst, (33) 2, pp 2-15.

Luczanits, Christian (2003) 'The 12th Century Buddhist Monuments of Nako'. Orientations, (34) 5, pp 46-53.

Luczanits, Christian (2003) 'Early Tibetan Clay Sculpture'. Aziatische Kunst, (33) 2, pp 2-15.

Luczanits, Christian (2001) 'Methodological Comments Regarding Recent Research on Tibetan Art'. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, (45), pp 125-145.

Luczanits, Christian (1999) 'The Life of the Buddha in the Sumtsek'. Orientations, (30) 1, pp 30-39.

Luczanits, Christian (1996) 'A Note on Tholing Monastery'. Orientations, (27) 6, pp 76-77.

Luczanits, Christian (1996) 'Early Buddhist Wood Carvings from Himachal Pradesh'. Orientations, (27) 6, pp 67-75.

Luczanits, Christian (1994) 'Another Rin chen bzaṅ po Temple?'. East and West, (44) 1, pp 83-98.

Luczanits, Christian (1993) 'The Sources for Bu ston’s Introduction to the Acts of a Buddha'. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, (37), pp 93-108.

Edited Books

Lo Bue, Erberto F. and Luczanits, Christian, (eds.), (2010) Tibetan Art and Architecture in Context. PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006. Halle (Saale): International Institute for Tibetan Studies.

Petech, Luciano and Luczanits, Christian, (eds.), (1999) Inscriptions from the Tabo Main Temple. Texts and Translations. Rome: IsIAO.

Book Chapters

Luczanits, Christian (2018) 'A Crucial Link in Fifteenth-Century Tibetan Art'. Perspectives on Tibetan Culture. A Small Garland of Forget-me-nots offered to Elena De Rossi Filibeck. Kathmandu: Vajra Publications. [Forthcoming]

Allinger, Eva and Luczanits, Christian (2017) 'A Vajradhātu Mandala in a Prajñāpāramitā Manuscript of Tabo Monastery'. Early West Tibetan Buddhist Monuments: Architecture, Art,History and Texts. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. [Forthcoming]

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'The Nako Monuments in Context'. In: Krist, Gabriela, (ed.), Nako: Research and Conservation in the Western Himalayas. Wien; Köln; Weimar: Böhlau, pp 19-45.

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'Prajnaparamita, Alchi and Kashmir - On the Cultural Background of a Unique Bronze'. An Exceptional and Magnificent Bronze Alloy Figure of Prajnaparamita. Beijing: Poly Auction.

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'Inspired by the Past: the Art of Chöying Dorjé and Western Himalayan Sculpture'. In: Debreczeny, Karl and Tuttle, Gray, (eds.), The Tenth Karmapa & Tibet's Turbulent Seventeenth Century. Chicago: Serindia, pp 107-151.

Luczanits, Christian (2016) 'Puja and Piety in Buddhism'. Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Museum of Art and University of California Press, pp 116-137.

Luczanits, Christian (2015) 'Mirror of the Buddha: An Early Tibetan Portrait'. Elegante Zusammenkunft im Gelehrtengarten. Studien zur Ostasiatischen Kunst zu Ehren von Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch / Elegant Gathering in a Scholar’s Garden: Studies in East Asian Art in Honor of Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch. Waimar: VDG, pp 56-62.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'From Kashmir to Western Tibet: The Many Faces of a Regional Style'. In: Linrothe, Rob, (ed.), Collecting Paradise. Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies. New York & Evanston: Rubin Museum of Art and Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, pp 108-149.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'The Many Faces of Buddha Vairocana'. In: van Alphen, Jan, (ed.), The All-Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide. New York and Antwerp: Rubin Museum of Art and BAI, MAS Books, pp 12-23, 163–166.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'The diffusion of Gandharan and Indian models in South Asia'. In: Leriche, Pierre, (ed.), Art et civilisation de l’orient hellénisé : Rencontres et échanges culturels d’Alexandre aux Sassanides. Paris: Editions A&J Picard, pp 245-250.

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'Beneficial to See: Early Drigung Painting'. In: Jackson, David Paul, (ed.), Painting Traditions of the Drigung Kagyu School. New York: Rubin Museum of Art, pp 214-259.

Luczanits, Christian (2013) 'Conservation and research in Buddhist art from an art-historical perspective'. In: Park, David and Wangmo, Kuenga and Cather, Sharon, (eds.), Art of Merit: Studies in Buddhist Art and its Conservation. Proceedings of the Buddhist Art Forum 2012. London: Archetype, pp 187-202.

Luczanits, Christian (2013) 'The Buddha Beyond. Figuration in Gandharan Cult Imagery'. In: Ehrhard, Franz-Karl and Maurer, Petra, (eds.), Nepalica-Tibetica. Festgabe für Christoph Cüppers. Andiast: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, pp 1-21.

Harrison, Paul and Luczanits, Christian (2012) 'New Light on (and from) the Muhammad Nari Stele'. 2011 nendo dai ikkai kokusai shinpojiumu puroshīdingusu: Jōdokyō ni kansuru tokubetsu kokusai shinpojiumu. Kyoto: Ryukoku University Research Center for Buddhist Cultures in Asia, pp 69-127, plates 197–207.

Luczanits, Christian (2011) 'Siddhas, Hierarchs, and Lineages: Three Examples for Dating Tibetan Art'. In: Jackson, David Paul, (ed.), Mirror of the Buddha, Early Portraits from Tibet. New York: Rubin Museum of Art, pp 170-203, 214.

Luczanits, Christian (2011) 'The Bodhisattva and the Future Buddha Maitreya'. In: Proser, Adriana, (ed.), The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Art of Gandhara. New York: Asia Society Museum, pp 59-64.

Luczanits, Christian (2011) 'On the Iconography of Tibetan Scroll Paintings (thang ka) Dedicated to the Five Tathāgatas'. In: Lo Bue, Erberto F., (ed.), Art in Tibet. Issues in Traditional Tibetan Art from the Seventh to the Twentieth Century. Leiden, Boston: Brill, pp 37-51 + pls. 6.

Luczanits, Christian (2011) 'Approaches to Historic Indian and Indo-Tibetan Sculpture'. In: Pandya Dhar, Parul, (ed.), Indian Art History: Changing Perspectives. New Delhi: DK Printworld & National Museum Institute, pp 153-167 + figs 11.1–11.4.

Luczanits, Christian (2010) 'In Search of the Perfection of Wisdom. A short note on the third narrative depicted in the Tabo Main Temple'. In: Franco, Eli and Zin, Monika, (eds.), From Turfan to Ajanta: Festschrift for Dieter Schlingloff on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday. Lumbini, Nepal: Lumbini International Research Institute, pp 567-578.

Luczanits, Christian (2010) 'Mandalas of Mandalas: The Iconography of a Stupa of Many Auspicious Doors for Phag mo gru pa'. In: Lo Bue, Erberto F. and Luczanits, Christian, (eds.), Tibetan Art and Architecture in Context. PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006. Halle (Saale): International Institute for Tibetan Studies, pp 281-310.

Luczanits, Christian (2010) 'Prior to Birth. The Tuṣita episodes in Indian Buddhist literature and art'. In: Cüppers, Christoph and Deeg, Max and Durt, Hubert, (eds.), The Birth of the Buddha. Proceedings of the Seminar Held in Lumbini, Nepal, October 2004. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, pp 41-91.

Luczanits, Christian and Neuwirth, Holger (2010) 'The Development of the Alchi Temple Complex. An Interdisciplinary Approach'. In: Krist, Gabriela and Bayerová, Tatjana, (eds.), Heritage Conservation and Research in India. 60 years of Indo-Austrian collaboration. Wien, Weimar: Böhlau, pp 79-84.

Luczanits, Christian (2009) 'Ritual, Instruction and Experiment: Esoteric Drawings from Dunhuang'. In: Pande, Anupa and Sharma, Mandira, (eds.), The Art of Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent in Cross Culture Perspective. New Delhi: National Museum Institute-Aryan Books International, pp 140-149 & 11 figs..

Luczanits, Christian (2009) 'Styles in Western Himalayan Art'. In: Jisheng, Xie and Wenhua, Luo and Jing, Anning, (eds.), Han Zang Fo jiao mei shu yan jiu : 2007 sic di san jie Xizang kao gu yu yi shu guo ji xue shu tao lun hui lun wen ji - Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium of Tibetan Art and Archaeology, Oct. 2006, Beijing. Beijing: Guji, pp 133-150.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Early Buddhism and Gandhara'. Gandhara – The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise. Mainz – Bonn: Zabern – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD, pp 72-77.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'The depiction of Hindu and Pan-Indian Deities in the Lo tsa ba lHa khang at Nako'. In: Raven, Ellen M., (ed.), South Asian Archaeology 1999. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, held at the Universiteit Leiden, 5–9 July 1999. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, pp 493-506.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Art and Architecture'. Gandhara – The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise. Mainz – Bonn: Zabern – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD, pp 314-317.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Gandhara and Its Art'. Gandhara – The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise. Mainz – Bonn: Zabern – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD, pp 16-26.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'Stucco and Clay'. Gandhara – The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise. Mainz – Bonn: Zabern – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD, pp 318-320.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'The Bodhisattva and the Future Buddha Maitreya'. Gandhara – The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan. Legends, Monasteries and Paradise. Mainz – Bonn: Zabern – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD, pp 249-253.

Luczanits, Christian (2008) 'On the Earliest Mandalas in a Buddhist Context'. In: Bryant, Darrol and Bryant, Susan, (eds.), Mahayana Buddhism. History and Culture. New Delhi: Tibet House, pp 111-136.

Luczanits, Christian (2007) 'Prior to Birth II. The Tuṣita episodes in early Tibetan Buddhist literature and art'. In: Kellner, Birgit and Krasser, Helmut and Lasic, Horst and Much, M.T. and Tauscher, Helmut, (eds.), Pramāṇakīrtiḥ. Papers dedicated to Ernst Steinkellner on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Wien: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien Universität Wien, pp 497-543.

Luczanits, Christian (2007) 'Alchi Sumtseg Reconsidered'. In: Bray, John and Tsering Shakspo, Nawang, (eds.), Recent Research on Ladakh 2007. Leh, Ladakh: J&K Academy for Art, Culture & Languages – International Association for Ladakh Studies, pp 61-72.

Luczanits, Christian (2006) 'A First Glance at Early Drigungpa Painting'. Studies in Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Art. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Tibetan Archaeology & Art, Beijing, September 3–6, 2004. Beijing: China Tibetology Publishing House, pp 459-488.

Luczanits, Christian (2006) 'Alchi and the Drigungpa School of Tibetan Buddhism: the Teacher Depiction in the Small Chörten at Alchi'. In: Lee-Kalisch, Jeong-hee and Papist-Matsuo, Antje and Veit, Willibald, (eds.), Mei shou wan nian - Long Life Without End. Festschrift in Honor of Roger Goepper. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, pp 181-196.

Luczanits, Christian (2006) 'The Eight Great Siddhas in Early Tibetan Painting from c. 1200 to c. 1350'. In: Linrothe, Robert N., (ed.), Holy Madness. Portraits of Tantric Siddhas. New York: Rubin Museum of Art, pp 76-91.

Luczanits, Christian (2005) 'The Early Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh Reconsidered'. In: Bray, John, (ed.), Ladakhi Histories. Local and Regional Perspectives. Leiden: Brill, pp 65-96.

Luczanits, Christian (2005) 'Unendliche Vielfalt. Gestalt und Erscheinungsform im Buddhismus'. In: Köpke, Wulf and Schmelz, Bernd, (eds.), Die Welt des Tibetischen Buddhismus. Hamburg: Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, pp 43-77.

Luczanits, Christian (2003) 'Art-historical aspects of dating Tibetan art'. In: Kreide-Damani, Ingrid, (ed.), Dating Tibetan Art. Essays on the Possibilities and Impossibilities of Chronology from the Lempertz Symposium, Cologne. Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag, pp 25-57.

Luczanits, Christian (2002) 'The Wanla Bkra shis gsum brtsegs'. In: Klimburg-Salter, Deborah and Allinger, Eva, (eds.), Buddhist Art and Tibetan Patronage Ninth to Fourteenth Centuries. Leiden: Brill, pp 115-125.

Luczanits, Christian (1999) 'Ein Blick nach Osten, zur rezenten Erforschung früher tibetischer Kunst'. 10. Österreichischer Kunsthistorikertag. Das Fach Kunstgeschichte und keine Grenzen? 30. September – 3. Oktober 1999, Universität Innsbruck. Wien: Österreichischer Kunsthistorikerverband, pp 59-64.

Luczanits, Christian (1999) 'Minor Inscriptions and Captions in the Tabo gTsug lag khaṅ'. In: Petech, Luciano and Luczanits, Christian, (eds.), Inscriptions from the Tabo Main Temple. Texts and Translations. Rome: IsIAO, pp 95-187 + 9 plates.

Steinkellner, Ernst and Luczanits, Christian (1999) 'The Renovation Inscription of the Tabo Gtsug Lag Khaṅ. New Edition and Translation'. In: Petech, Luciano and Luczanits, Christian, (eds.), Inscriptions From the Tabo Main Temple. Texts and Translations. Rome: IsIAO, pp 9-28.

Luczanits, Christian (1998) 'On an Unusual Painting Style in Ladakh'. In: Klimburg-Salter, Deborah E. and Allinger, Eva, (eds.), The Inner Asian International Style 12th-14th Centuries. Papers presented at a panel of the 7th seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Graz 1995. Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp 151-169.

Steinkellner, Ernst and Luczanits, Christian (1997) 'A New Translation of the Renovation Inscription in the Tabo Main Temple (gtsug-lag-khang)'. Tabo – a Lamp for the Kingdom. Early Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Art in the Western Himalaya. Milan – New York: Skira – Thames and Hudson, pp 257-259.

Luczanits, Christian (1997) 'On the Construction of Clay Sculptures in Tabo (Ta pho) Spiti (c. 1042 A.D.)'. In: Allchin, Raymond and Allchin, Bridget, (eds.), South Asian Archaeology, 1995. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists Cambridge, 5–9 July 1995. New Delhi – Calcutta: Science Publishers and Oxford & IBH Publishing Co., pp 691-701.

Luczanits, Christian (1997) 'The Clay Sculptures'. In: Klimburg-Salter, Deborah E., (ed.), Tabo – a Lamp for the Kingdom. Early Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Art in the Western Himalaya. Milan – New York: Skira – Thames and Hudson, pp 189-205.

Book Reviews

Luczanits, Christian (2014) 'Review: Siudmak, John. The Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Ancient Kashmir and its Influences. Vol. 28, Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 2, South Asia. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2013.'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (77) 3, pp 600-601.

Luczanits, Christian (2013) 'Review Article: Erberto Lo Bue (ed.) 2010. Wonders of Lo: the artistic heritage of Mustang. Vol. 62 (2), Marg. Mumbai: Marg Foundation'. The Tibet Journal, (38) 3&4, pp 161-167.

Luczanits, Christian (2009) 'Review: Discoveries in Western Tibet and the Western Himalayas: Essays on History, Literature, Archaeology and Art. Piats 2003: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Oxford, 2003. Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library, vol. 10/8 by Amy Heller & Giacomella Orofino'. Journal of the American Oriental Society, (129) 3, pp 503-505.

Thesis

Luczanits, Christian (1998) Early Buddhist clay sculpture in the Western Himalaya (late 10th to early 13th centuries). PhD thesis. Vienna University. [Unpublished]

Luczanits, Christian (1993) Studie zu einer Episode aus dem Leben des Buddha. Der Tuṣita Himmel und die KronenübergabeVienna University. [Unpublished]

 

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