Maitreya is seated in the vajra position, his hands in the dharmacakra mudra, on a double-lotus base with fat apple-like petals typical of Western Tibet. His tall Pala-style chignon is painted with lapis lazuli powder, his face is painted with cold gold and pigments. He is surrounded by long-stemmed lotuses, one of which is broken and probably supported a water pot or a stupa.
The lavish gilding and stone inlay of this work is typical of Nepalese artists, as is the use of copper rather than copper alloy and the oblong urna on the bodhistattva’s forehead. His celestial scarf forms a frame around him. Here, the left hand does the karana mudra (to ward off evil), not normally associated with Maitreya.
Maitreya has a lotus attached to his elbow with a ritual water pot (kundika) on top. His right hand does the gesture of debate or teaching (vitarka) and the left ‘calls Earth to Witness’ (bhumisparsha).