Citipati “Lord of the Cemetery” 10752
Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan
Wood, pigments
19th/early 20th Century Ex Irwin Hersey Collection
9 in/23 cm 


Tibetan Buddhist teachings prepare one throughout life for death and the Bar do state (the intermediary state 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.