Citipati "Lord of the Cemetery" 12721

Tibet or Bhutan

Wood, pigment

19th / early 20th Century Ex Bruno Gay Collection, Paris

8.5 in / 21.5 cm

Tibetan Buddhist teachings prepare for all life for death and the Bar do state (the intermediate state of affairs between death and rebirth) that follows. It is essential that the soul be able to laugh at the frightening prospect of the hereafter and so, in their wisdom, monks turn dancing skeletons into clowns for comic relief at great masked performances.