15th century (1423), Tibet, The Dharma Kings, clay with pigments, at Gyantse, photo by Amy Heller on asianart
The three dharma kings of Tibet: Songtsen Gampo (6th-7th century), who has an effigy of Amitabha on his head, Trisug Detsen (8th century), Tri Ralpachen/Ralpacan (9th century). Their kingly attire includes a sumptuous silk gown tied with a belt, a scarf, felt boots, an elaborate headdress, a necklace and some earrings.
16th century, Tibet, King Pundarika (labelled ‘Kundarika, 2nd King of Jambhala), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Koller .
Pundarika, of whom the dalai lamas are said to be an incarnation, is the second of the kulika or kalki kings (vidhyadharas). He normally holds two lotuses. He is depicted with bare feet and no gown, thus displaying anklets, bracelets and armlets. (More about the kings of Shambala here ).
16th century, Tibet, the rna.chogs,gsugs, bronze, private collection, photo on Nagel .
Probably a king, real or mythical, this character is seated with both legs pendent, on a throne decorated with incisions. He wears kingly attire, felt boots and a cloth covering his head, including his topknot and his ears. The inscription may refer to Vishvamurti (Natshog Zug in Tibetan), the 6th king of Shambala.
17th century, Tibet, King Lha’i Gyalpo, gilt metal, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA), photo and note on HAR .
This mythical king, seated on a stepped throne with lotus buds at each corner, does a gesture to dispels fear with his right hand and another to bestow patience with the left one.
19th century, Eastern Tibet, Derge, King Gesar, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams .
A late but illustrative image of King Gesar, who may be have been a real character and who, at any rate, became the protagonist of an epic with different local versions in and around the Himalayan area. In Tibetan art he may wear a tall conical helmet and be seated and dressed like a king. The above is seated on a human hide atop three cushions covered with a blanket.