As a local mountain deity in Rebkong, Amdo Province, in northeastern Tibet, Amnye Cha Kyung is an important figure in the region's sacred geography. Mountain deities were indigenous gods subjugated by the great teacher Padmasambhava, who helped establish Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. These gods were then absorbed into the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
Featuring a sparing application of blue and green pigment with a dry brush, this work is painted in the light and airy style of the later Encampment (Gardri) School, established by the great religious leader, artist, and patron Situ Panchen at Palpung Monastery in southern Kham Province. These soft, cool colors found in the landscape contrast with the more thickly applied warm reds and oranges of the figures. A naturalistic attention to depicting animals, such as the golden-haltered horses in the landscape at bottom center, is another hallmark of this painting tradition.