Artist/maker unknown, Central Tibetan
Mandalas, among the most famous forms of Tibetan-Buddhist painting, often geometrically outline a celestial palace populated by a central deity and his or her divine retinue. This stunning example houses Yamantaka (The One Who Conquers Death) and simultaneously displays multiple views of his palace: the interior is depicted from the top down, while the gates are pictured from the sides, unfolding from the midpoint. Banners and scarves flutter in the breeze, monkeys swing above the gates, and courtiers (personifying different aspects of Yamantaka's powers) inhabit the palace. Glints of burnished gold accent many of the deities' halos, trim the palace walls, and gleam in sinuous curves of ritual implements.