Late 18th to early 19th century Tibetan thangka depicting the Refuge Tree of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni lamrim lineage. Lamrim (Tibetan: "stages of the path") is a Tibetan Buddhist textual form for presenting the stages in the complete path to enlightenment. Visually lamrim is represented by Refuge Tree as a key part of visualization and foundational meditation practice common to Tantric Buddhism. Based on descriptions in the liturgical texts of various traditions, Refuge Trees depicted in thangkas are employed as objects of veneration, mnemonic devices and as a precursor to the contents being fully visualized by the practitioner during the Refuge Formula or evocation. Central figure of the Buddha emanates rays of golden light, his right hand in bhumisparsha (earth-touching) mudra, his left hand holding an alms bowl. Central figure is surrounded by about 100 smaller figures of primordial Buddhas, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, teachers and monks from Gelugpa and other Buddhist sects. There is a figure in the lower right wearing a Buddhist robe, holding a gift in his hands and a table with offerings in front of him - most probably it represents the donor of the thangka. Superbly painted with natural mineral pigments on cotton, later 19th century silk mounts. Excellent quality painting, some expected wear, overall in great condition for a 200 plus years old devotional object. Comes from old Washington DC collection. Painting size 19.5 x 14 inches (50 x 36 cm), mounts 38.5 x 20.5 inches (98 x 52 cm).