Tibet, seated Maitreya (12)

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy and silver inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A classic portray of Maitreya in his bodhisattva appearance, his hands turning the wheel of dharma, a stupa finial on his head, a water pot on the lotus to his left.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Other deities may do the dharmacakra mudra, but only Maitreya has a stupa in his headdress.

The above also has a minute ritual water pot, placed on the (rather schematic) lotus to his left.

He wears a dhoti and shawl incised with a large floral motif, the rim of his crown is decorated with a rice grain design, the ends of his celestial scarf and the long strands of hair over his shoulders are also engraved.

Late 16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy and blue pigment, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Maitreya is the only bodhisattva who may sit  with both legs pendant, his feet usually resting on a large lotus attached to the base. The lotuses fastened to his elbows support a miniature stupa and water pot.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A later version with a dharma wheel (dharmacakra) on the lotus to his right.


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