Tibet, seated Maitreya (6)

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, brass with cold gold, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

As we have seen in previous posts, this is a standard way of depicting Maitreya, seated in the vajra position on a double-lotus base, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra, long-stemmed lotuses attached to his elbows (sometimes on each side of him), one of them supporting a ritual water pot. He has a squarish face painted with cold gold and silver-inlaid eyes.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy (or copper?), private collection.

On this sculpture he holds one (blue) lotus topped with a kundika. His pouting mouth with generous lips and slanted eyes recall sculptures from Southeast Asia. The double-lotus base and the tear-shaped urna are typical of Nepal.

Same as before, photo by Sotheby's.

Same as before, photo by Sotheby’s.

Another standard image is Maitreya seated on a throne with both legs pendant, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma). This is a rare work with a modest throne covered with a cloth, on a squarish base decorated with incised lotus petals. He wears no jewellery and has the appearance of a crowned buddha.

16th century, same as before.

16th century, same as before.

On this more regal throne, he wears the full princely attire typical of bodhisattvas, including a celestial scarf forming a loop at elbow level in the Chinese style. His crown, jewellery and belt are richly incised with turquoise and coral. There is a kundika on top of the lotus.

 

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