This brief account and the
accompanying portrait is given in Jirah Dewey Buck's book titled Modern World
Movements, Chicago, 1913, page 141 (portrait facing page 144). J.D. Buck
(1838-1916) was an early member of the Theosophical Society and worked very closely with
W.Q. Judge. For biographical information on him, see H.P. Blavatsky's Collected
Writings, Volume 3, pp. 498-9. For more information on this particular
portrait, see Henry S. Olcott's account in Old Diary Leaves, Series One, Chapter
XXIII, pp. 370-2. Olcott describes this portrait as "the first portrait of my
Guru, the one done in black and white crayons at New York by M. Harrisse." J.D.
Buck's account is as follows:
The portrait of a Master, herewith,
Nearly twenty years ago [1893?] an acquaintance at Jamestown, N.Y., showed
me a photograph of this Master, accompanying one of H.P.B. which he had procured from a
Photographer at Schenectady, N.Y., and he gave me the address of the artist.
I thereupon obtained some copies, after which he informed me that he had
the original negative and that it was obtained from H.P.B. while she was a guest at his
house, about 1876, or '77.
I bought the negative, because I disliked to see copies sold about the
Later, Mr. Judge told me that he was present at the Lamasery (as
they called H.P.B.'s New York residence) when the artist drew this likeness on a piece of
Manila paper, under H.P.B.'s telepathic gaze; thus conveying to the artist's
vision the image of the reality in her own mind.
No one familiar with the pictures [of the Masters M. and K.H.], made in
oil by another artist [Hermann Schmiechen] in London in the same way many years later
, will fail to note the resemblance. . . .
[BA Editor's Note: For an account of
the 1884 painting of the Schmiechen portrait of the Master Koot Hoomi, see Laura C.
Holloway's testimony (13g) in the web version of my book The
Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky (published by The Theosophical Society, Wheaton,
Illinois, U.S.A., 2000).]