Collection Online

Skull, dance mask
(20th century)

Medium
pigment, papier maché, cotton
Measurements
27.7 × 22.0 × 13.7 cm
Place/s of Execution
Tibet
Accession Number
2006.286
Department
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2006
Gallery location
Not on display
Description
The skull mask is formed from layers of fabric and, possibly, paper, bound with protein glue, and painted. The gruesome effect of the mask is enhanced by its combination of realistic detail and lurid palette. The skull is accurately shaped and has fine cracks painted on it, to indicate the surface of bone, combined with vivid red eyeballs and mouth. The third eye painted on the forehead indicates spiritual perception.