Gift of Frances Gould-Naftal and Marvin Naftal, 1983
Not on view
This black-ground (Tibetan: nag thang) painting was installed in the chapel (gonkhang) dedicated to the wrathful protective deities (dharmapalas), a room reserved for tantric initiation rites within a Tibetan monastery. The exceptional scale and complexity of the composition relate the painting to the offering-scene murals known as “sets of ornaments” (Tibetan: rgyan tshogs) that adorn the interiors of shrines dedicated to the dharmapalas. Two wrathful tantric deities are represented with flames emanating from their beings, standing on a male corpse atop a lotus pedestal. They are draped in flayed skins and garlands of severed human heads. Offerings of flayed skins, ritual utensils and objects, and a vast assortment of weapons fill the interior. Framing the scene above is a curtain of flayed human skins and organ entrails.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism," October 7, 2010–June 26, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Himalayas," December 15, 2010–December 4, 2011.