Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Chitipati/Shri Shmashana Adhipati (protector)

དུར་ཁྲོད་བདག་པོའི་ཡབ་ཡུམ། སྲུང་མ། 双身尸陀林主 (佛教 护法)
(item no. 81820)
Date Range 1960 -
Lineages Sakya and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Paper
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Shmashana Adhipati.

Pema Rinzin (Tibetan, b. 1966) Shmashana Adipati (Lords of the Charnel Ground), 2007 Ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist

This study of the Lords of the Charnel Grounds depicts the correct proportions of the dancing skeleton couple that presides over these locations. The grid was drawn in ink with the use of a straight edge, while the figures and background were done free hand with pigment and brush. Artists rely heavily on grids such as this one when they first learn to paint. As they internalize, or master, the proportions, the need for the grid disappears. Command of the correct proportional relationship among the parts of an image allows artists to more freely interpret their subjects while remaining within their tradition.

Measurements are like ABCs; but good artists have no measurements. With enough experience, artists create their own style. After doing the measured sketches hundreds of times, the whole body goes into your mind, so that when you sketch it freely, it automatically appears. Then measurement is not important. In fact, measurements cause more problems! In places like Kham (a region in eastern Tibet), where the Karma Gardri style is common, artists only use a center line, called Tsangpa Visnu, and do not use any other lines to create a grid. When these artists start to draw, all they see is the eye when they're drawing the eye. When they do the nose, all they see is nose. If you keep drawing the same thing, you will learn the form, the ink, the brush, the colour, and it becomes a part of you. Then an individual style will come.

Pema Rinzin, 2-2007

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Exhibition: Artist-in-Residence Showcase
Artist: Pema Rinzin
Buddhist Protector: Shmashana Adhipati (Chitipati)
Buddhist Protector: Shri Shmashana Adhipati (Sakya)