Tibet, seated Maitreya (8)

14th-15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

It is unusual for Maitreya’s chignon to be topped with a half-vajra finial. He is otherwise depicted in a standard way, seated in the vajra position, his hands in dharmacakra, framed by two long-stemmed lotuses, over a double-lotus base with broad petals.

14th-15th c., Tibet, Maitreya, gilt cop., 18, 5 cm, stupa on lotus, half vajra finial, nagakesara flower

The lotus to his right supports a nagakesara flower, the other supports a stupa. His earrings are inlaid with lapis lazuli. The central panel of his crown is inlaid with turquoise and below it there is a garuda, popular in Tibet and Nepal.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We see him here seated on a flattish Nepalese-style double-lotus base, with princely jewellery inlaid with stones and his hair painted with black pigment. There is a (nagakesara?) bud on the lotus to his right and there may have been a water pot on the other side. His lower garment is decorated with an incised pattern.

15th c., Tibet, Maitreya, gilt c.a.+stones+pig., 26 cm, rec. urna, face, Christie's

There is a stupa on his chignon and a rectangular urna on his forehead.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, published on en-seercn.com

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, published on en-seercn.com

On this example, also inspired from Nepalese art, the lower part of the lotus base is incised with a scroll design. The lotuses to his side support a water pot and a nagakesara bud.

Same as before, gilt metal, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Same as before, gilt metal, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This is a different style. His lower garment is loosely draped in the Chinese fashion, his face has been painted with cold gold and pigments, he wears a celestial scarf that forms loops around his elbows.

Same as before, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Same as before, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Chinese fashion is  more obvious here in the treatment of his celestial scarf (and the shape of the crown and earrings).

15th c., Tibet, Maitreya, Sino-tibetan style, brass, 19 cm, face

However, his squarish face with gentle moon-like features together with the sobriety of un-gilt brass and the silver-inlaid eyes indicate that this was made in Tibet by a Tibetan artist.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

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

15th c., Tibet, Maitreya.bronze, incised dhoti, streaming sashes, detail

This work depicts Maitreya with lotuses attached to his elbows, one supporting a ritual water pot and the other supporting a branch of ashoka tree (sometimes described as a trident). His celestial scarf (often erroneously described as a sash) forms a large loop at elbow level and the ribbons of his crown flow upwards in a snake-like shape.

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