Tibet, seated Maitreya (2)

In Tibet, a large amount of sculptures  show Maitreya sitting in the European fashion, in bodhisattva attire, both hands at heart level doing the dharmachakra or ‘turning the wheel of the law’ gesture.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection.

15th century, Central Tibet, gilt copper alloy with cold gold, pigment and stone inlay, private collection.

15th century, Central Tibet, gilt copper alloy with cold gold, pigment and stone inlay, private collection.

He may sit on a throne, flanked by tow long-stem lotuses and have his feet over a lotus flower or two lotus buds attached to the pedestal.

14th century, Tibet, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

14th century, Tibet, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

He sometimes sits on an antelope skin over a simple throne without lotuses, as above, or on a thick cushion over a more fancy seat as below.

As before.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

14th-15th century, Central Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper, photo by Arts of Asia.

14th-15th century, Central Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper, photo by Arts of Asia.

On rare occasions, on a pedestal that imitates a rocky formation.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy,

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, photo by Michael Backmann.

The lotuses on each side of him may be attached to his elbows and hold a water pot on one side and a dharma wheel (as above) or a lotus (as below) on the other side. We will note the richly incised dhoti held in place with a belt, and the matching garlands over the knees.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, photo by Koller.

15th-16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Houston Museum.

15th-16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Houston Museum.

With or without the garlands, the fan-shaped ends of his pleated lower garment seems to have been a common feature in the 15th and 16th century.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, pigment, turquoise inlay, photo by Christie’s.

Here, the throne is complete with its back panel, as on the first photo of this post.

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