The Fifth Dalai Lama is one of the central figures of Tibetan history. He began the construction of Potala palace in 1645 and was a charismatic figurehead for both the Geluk and Nyingma orders. Although not inscribed, the bronze displays a distinct portrait likeness; compare a much smaller inscribed bronze in the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, cf. M. Rhie and R. Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion, 1996, cat. no. 98.