Tibet, standing Maitreya (3)

12th century, Western Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

12th century, Western Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Inspired from the Indian Pala style, this sculpture depicts Maitreya with a long-stemmed lotus in his left hand and a stupa in his headdress. His right hand does the varada mudra (generosity). The ‘stick-like’ limbs are typical of some West Tibetan sculptures of that period. He wears a short dhoti and a loin skirt.

12th c., Western Tibet, Maitreya, c.a., 14 cm, close up

His small tiara is decorated with exaggeratedly large bows and upward flying ribbons. Instead of a hole punched in the abdomen, his navel is incised.

13th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy, at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

12th century, Tibet or India, Maitreya, copper alloy, at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

This Maitreya, on the other hand, looks very much like figures made in North-East India during the Pala period. He stands on a double-lotus base over a tortoise-leg pedestal and surrounded with a serrated flaming arch topped with a (broken) stupa. 

13th c., Tibet, Maitreya, c.a., 19,9 cm, Royal Ontario M, close up

His face has been painted with pigments and his hair with lapis lazuli powder. The lotus to his right supports a water pot. Indian sculptures usually have a sharper nose, smaller lips and and smaller eyes with smaller pupils, but there are exceptions.

 

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