Pala India, Maitreya – seated

12th century, Northeast India, Maitreya, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

12th century, Northeast India, Maitreya, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Maitreya is seated at royal ease on a double-lotus base with a long-stemmed (broken) lotus to his left, adorned with silver-inlaid jewellery.

12th-c-india-ne-maitreya-c-a-sil-cop-inlay-stupalotus-cap

The stupa in his headdress tells us of his identity. The eyes and urna are inlaid with silver, the lips with copper.

12th century, Northeast India, Maitreya, copper alloy with silver inlay, same as before.

12th century, Northeast India, Maitreya, copper alloy with silver inlay, same as before.

On this variant of the ‘royal ease’ posture (lalitasana or rajalilasana) the deity’s left foot is resting on a lotus bud stemming from the base. His right hand does the vitarka mudra (teaching, debate), the left one holds the stem of a (broken) lotus.

 

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