Himalayan Art Resources' Jeff Watt couldn't be more emphatic: Art for art's sake is as old as Tibet—in fact, far older. So you can imagine how ticked off the Tibetan iconography expert was when he read this at artdaily.org:
There is no Tibetan equivalent for the word “art” as it is known in the West. The closest approximation is lha dri pa, literally, “to draw a deity.” Traditionally, neither the Tibetan language nor the Tibetan cultural framework has recognized art for art’s sake, and an artist’s efficacy rests in his ability to precisely replicate an established visual language and portray the essence of a particular deity. (Artdaily.org).