Tibet, seated Maitreya (10)

12th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, Nyingjei Lam collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

12th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, Nyingjei Lam collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Occasionally, we find Maitreya seated in a relaxed posture, with one leg folded towards him and the other knee raised. Inspired from the Pala-style, this sculpture depicts him with a low tiara, bodhisattva jewellery, a sacred thread, and a long-stemmed lotus supporting a ritual water pot. His right hand does the tarjani/karana mudra. His tall chignon is topped with a finial and adorned with upward flowing ribbons with a multi-pointed end.

12th c., Tibet, Maitreya, c.a., Nyingjei Lam, back

His ankle-length dhoti is decorated with an incised floral motif and held in place with a belt (also decorated with incisions). The double-lotus base has petals all the way round.

18th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, private collection, same as before.

18th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, private collection, same as before.

There was a revival of the Pala-style during the 18th century, with a variation in the proportions and in the style of elements such as the jewellery, the headdress and the attributes.

12th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy and silver inlay, private collection, published by Urlich von Schroeder.

12th century, Tibet, Maitreya?, gilt copper alloy and silver inlay, private collection, published by Urlich von Schroeder.

This is another example of a Pala-style bodhisattva seated in a relaxed pose (probably made by an Indian artist in Tibet). He has been identified by some as Avalokiteshvara and by others as Maitreya. In India, both characters may carry a lotus bud or the stalk of the lotus in one hand, however, there seems to be a water pot on top of the lotus to his left, normally associated with Maitreya.

12th c., Tibet, Maitreya, gilt metal+sil. eyes+urna+necklace, painted lips, face

The eyes are inlaid with silver and the pupils placed at the top (rather than the centre), as on Indian sculptures. His rectangular urna and part of his jewellery are also inlaid with silver.

12th c., Tibet, Maitreya, gilt metal+sil. eyes+urna+necklace, painted lips, detail

His dhoti is decorated with stippled flowers, some of them over copper or silver inlaid discs (a technique popular in India during the Pala period) and held in place with a beaded belt. The upper part of the dhoti is indicated with a wavy incision below the navel.

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