Tibet, seated Maitreya (3)

Occasionally, bodhisattva Maitreya sits on a double lotus base with one leg pendant, the foot resting on a lotus flower.

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

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection.

He may have one hand doing the charity mudra and the other doing the teaching mudra, as on the Nepalese-style sculpture above.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

Or, he may have both hands at heart level in the dharmachakra mudra gesture, as on the Indian Pala-style sculptures above and below.  The long-stem lotuses on his sides support a water pot on the left and a lotus flower on the right. We can see a small stupa in his headdress.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, photo by Sotheby's.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, photo by Sotheby’s.

The matted hairstyle originating from India  was later copied by Nepalese and Tibetan artists up to the 18th century.

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