Tibet, seated Maitreya (14)

8th-9th century, Tibet, Yarlung Dynasty, Maitreya, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Yuri Khokhlov, published in Metal Sculptures of the Tibetan Imperial Period, by Yuri Khokhlov, on http://www.asianart.com.

This exceptional Nalanda-style Maitreya doesn’t do the dharmacakra mudra with his hands. Instead, he holds his right hand palm out, displaying an incised floral motif meant to be a wheel of dharma, and there is a tiny ritual pot in his left hand. He wears a long striped dhoti decorated with a finely chased geometrical motif, and a matching sash, not drawn in diagonal across his chest as would be expected but following the shape of his sacred thread. His tall crown is made of five foliate panels on crescent moons (in fact, vegetation coming out of Kirtimukha’s mouth), an incised rim and matching ribbons, small bows and half rosettes that match his large floral earrings. Other adornments are a foliate necklace and matching armbands, a plain necklace and matching bracelets and anklets.

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

Although the above has lost one of his lotuses, the small water pot to his right, along with the position of his hands, is enough to identify him as Maitreya in his bodhisattva appearance.

17th century circa, Tibet, Maitreya, wood with gilding, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Mixed-style sculpture of Maitreya, seated on a throne supported by elephants, the lotuses fastened to his forearms topped with a wheel of dharma and a ritual water pot, wearing a stupa on top of his chignon, surrounded by two columns and a flaming arch with makaras and Kirtimukha, topped with a parasol.

17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Note the tiny water pot on the lotus to his left.


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