Amitayus/Amitabha is the only dhyani buddha whose hands are both held in the meditation gesture. Amitayus is normally depicted with a bodhisattva appearance and he holds a long-life vase. On this Indian-style work he wears a crown with a crescent moon and leaf design, some jewellery and an incised sash across his chest. His striped ankle-length dhoti is also decorated with an incised pattern. The vase is missing.
The rich gilding and small stone and coral cabochons indicate a Nepalese influence but this type of double-lotus base with curly petal tips and discreet beading is known as ‘Yongle-style’, from the Chinese emperor of the same name (1360-1424).
When seated, which is nearly always the case, dhyani buddhas have their legs folded in the vajra position. If the figure is dressed and adorned like a bodhisattva and both hands are in the meditations gesture, we are looking at Amitayus.
This buddha is framed by lotuses and his celestial scarfs forms an elaborate arch around him. His face is painted with cold gold and pigments. His calf-length dhoti reveals elaborate anklets studded with stones (and possibly coral).
The celestial scarf used as a frame was a recurrent feature around the 13th to the early 15th century in Tibet.
The above wears a striped dhoti decorated with a stippled floral design. His crown and jewellery are inlaid with turquoise and lapis lazuli.