East Asian Civilizations Research Centre (CRCAO)

"The Wanla Group of Monuments: 14th-Century Tibetan Buddhist Murals in Ladakh"

Martin’s dissertation, “The Wanla Group of Monuments: 14th-Century Tibetan Buddhist Murals in Ladakh,” prepared at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) in Paris and defended in March 2022, is a masterful contribution to the history of art and of Buddhism in the Western Himalayas. It further provides a model of interdisciplinary research on painted monuments, combining an excellent command of iconography and stylistic conventions with archaeometric analysis, epigraphy, and a firsthand assessment of literary sources in classical Tibetan. As such, it represents an outstanding contribution to Buddhist studies.

“I am extremely honored and grateful to receive this award from the distinguished Khyentse Foundation. I would like to express my special thanks to the members of the jury for carefully examining my application and eventually selecting my dissertation, even more so since it lies outside the historic field of textual studies.

“This award comes as a significant recognition of research developed over a decade under the patient, insightful guidance of my supervisor Charles Ramble and my co-advisor Christian Luczanits, and along with the continuous support of my colleagues, friends, and family. It will contribute to publishing it in a form that can be more easily accessed by everyone, including the caretakers of the monuments it considers. At a threshold in my life, it also gives me confidence to pursue my career in academia.”

— Nils Martin

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