Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) painting by the Karmapa
Painting of Sangarama (Guan Gong) by Karmapa
First Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa Statue by 17th Karmapa
Akshobhya
Milarepa, Marpa and Gampopa
Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)
Gampopa painting by Karmapa

The Artwork of the Karmapa

Like many of his previous incarnations, the Gyalwang Karmapa takes a great interest in a variety of different forms of art including drawing, painting, sculpture, and calligraphy. When asked about the importance of art the Karmapa noted:

“There could be a number of reasons why art is important, and it’s not necessarily important to everyone for the same reason. In my case, when the environment around me seems to be quite restricting, which happens to be often, and I feel the need to vent out this feeling of restriction that I’m bound by, then I want to put my feelings of creativity or imagination on paper or canvas and nobody’s trying to restrict me from doing that. For me art is a very important way to express myself under such circumstances, to have an outlet for my creative energy.”

This page shows a small collection of the 17th Karmapa’s artwork from statues created for the Kagyu Monlam, to paintings and drawings of Buddhist meditation deities.