Wrathful Deities of the Bar-do

18th century

Object Place: Tibet


122 x 70 cm (48 1/16 x 27 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton, mounted with silk brocades, a silk dust cover, wood dowels, brass knobs, and leather corner tabs

Not On View





Painting in hanging scroll (thangka) format, with streamers, veil and decorative borders.

A round mandala consisting of three concentric circles. In the center are six winged, wrathful Herukas in yab-yum. The inner circle contains twenty human and animal-headed deities and the outer circle contains twenty-eight animal-headed deities. Beyond the mandala, above, are five Dakinis relating to the five Buddha families, each holding a hooked knife and skull cup. Below are five Dakas and Dakinis in yab-yum, the Dakas holding hooked knives and skull cups. Around the border of the mandala are offerings of mirror, cymbals, flaming jewels, red scarf, and fruit as well as a conch with water. All set against a landscape of hills, lakes, and clouds. For further information about this subject, see “Wisdom and compassion” catalogue, p. 198 and A. Gordon, “Iconography of Tibetan Lamaism,” p. 97-101.


On reverse, in Tibetan, "Om, Ah, Hum"


1992, George and Verena Rybicki, Lexington, MA; gift of Rybicki to the MFA in memory of William Stanley and Janet Morgan. (Accession Date: May 26, 1992)

Credit Line

Gift of George and Verena Rybicki, in memory of William Stanley and Janet Morgan