Gandhara culture, Maitreya (4)

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on  Tajan .

Maitreya, identified by the ritual water pot he holds by the neck, his strangely child-like face contrasting with his squarish torso and broad shoulders. He is adorned with the usual choker and strings of beads, one of them worn across the right shoulder, another worn across the chest, large earrings, armlets, bracelets, and a scarf that covers his left shoulder and his right elbow.

circa 3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Lapada

A rather plump figure without a moustache, his wavy hair gathered in a bun, holding a pot shaped like a blue lotus (upside-down) with his left hand and doing the fear-allaying gesture with the other.

3rd-5th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, stucco, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot.

Yet again a different style, with an elaborate headdress and no beaded ornaments across his shoulder or his chest, the kundika missing from his hands. His pleated scarf covers most of the right arm, forms a loop over his ankles and ends over his left wrist.

Undated, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot

A rare sculpture of him seated on a throne supported by pillars and featuring a scene with a seated bodhisattva (possibly himself) at the centre and a kneeling devotee on each side. He wears a turban and a large fan-shaped ornament with a protruding element at the front (which is sometimes construed as a stupa but also appears on sculptures of Avalokiteshvara, for more details see Pratapaditya Pal ).

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

This bodhisattva could also be Avalokiteshvara holding a (now lost) lotus as we saw here but Bonhams tell us that the ribbons across the halo are specific to Maitreya. We saw one from the  Met with long serpentine ribbons on his halo.

3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Oise Enchères 

The buddha of the future with a large head, short legs and squarish feet, standing on a square base decorated with a four-petal floral motif.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke on Gazette Drouot

With generous facial features, his hair tied in two soft loops falling on each side of his head, wearing a skirt-like lower garment pleated on one side and the usual jewellery, except for the beads across the right shoulder. He stands on a pedestal supported by columns and decorated with large flowers. His ritual pot is shaped like a lotus bud. The upper garment is tucked under the left arm and forms an elegant loop across his thighs before coming to rest over the right arm.

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Tibet, Maitreya (6)

12th-13th century, Tibet or Nepal, Maitreya, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on VAN HAM

Maitreya, holding a water pot in the palm of his left hand and the stem of a blue lotus in the other, his eyes inlaid with silver, the festoons of his belt, his armlets and sacred cord made of silver beading, his lips inlaid with copper. His stupa-shaped chignon is topped with a lotus bud finial.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze with silver, copper and stone inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

Probably made in a Tsang province atelier, this sculpture depicts him seated in the vajra position, his hands turning the wheel of dharma symbolically and holding the stem of lotuses, one of them supporting a ritual water pot.  He has a stupa in his headdress.

His eyes are inlaid with silver and copper, his jewellery with lapis lazuli and turquoise cabochons.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper with stone inlay, private collection?, photo on GG-ART

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt bronze with cold gold, stones and pigment, private collection, photo by Van Ham as before, sale 17th December 2017.

With no stupa or kundika, Maitreya is identified by the position of his hands.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy with stone and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.

Seated with his legs pendent, the feet placed on a lotus attached to the throne.

 

Gandhara, early sculptures (3)

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, bodhisattva, schist, private collection, photo on Catawiki.

The figure is seated on a lotus base, under a canopy, his legs locked, his hands in the meditation gesture, his hair bun secured with a fanning beaded ornament and a tiara.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, yaksha, schist, at the Peshawar Museum, photo on AKG images

This pot-bellied elderly man in princely attire is quite different from the yakshas we are accustomed to see on this blog. There is a child before him on the pedestal and two (broken) attendants.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, schist, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A rare sculpture of the historical buddha with a well preserved solar disc behind his head, seated on a throne covered with a cloth, two lotus buds stemming from the base, a small footstool placed before him. His right hand does the fear-allaying gesture and the other holds a piece of his robe.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, bodhisattva, schist, at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

A figure seated on a wicker throne with his legs crossed at ankle level and both feet on the small footstool at the front.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Kapoor 

Maitreya’s facial features are quite different from the standard Greco-Buddhist representations of him and so are the design of his jewellery and the pleating of his garment, almost shaped like leaves. He stands on a square pedestal with a fire altar and two devotees, and holds a large water pot by the neck.

Gandhara, bodhisattvas

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, grey schist, private collection, photo on Artkhade 

A figure with a princely appearance standing on a pedestal decorated with a fire altar and four devotees typical of the Gandhara culture. Presumably he has a stupa in his headdress and/or a water pot in his left hand.

2nd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on artkhade as before.Most bodhisattva sculptures from Gandhara depict Maitreya or Avalokiteshvara (usually holding a water pot by the neck and an open lotus respectively). Sometimes the only clue to the identity is the stupa in Maitreya’s headdress.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on artkhade.

Here we can clearly see the water pot in a youthful Maitreya’s left hand. There is a solar disc behind his head and a fire-altar scene at the front of the pedestal.

3rd century, Gandhara, bodhisattva, schist, at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

A rare image of a character with a princely appearance standing with his left hand on his hip and his right hand doing the fear-allaying gesture.

A close view reveals a particularly elegant floral hair decoration and very large ear ornaments.

 

At the centre of his torque two animal heads (with antelope horns) hold a large bead.

2nd-3rd century probably, Gandhara, bodhisattva, schist, private collection, photo on Rob Michiels .

 

Gandhara, early sculptures

2nd century, Gandhara, Buddha, bronze, private collection photo by Oliver Hoare on Every object tells a story

On early Gandhara bronzes the seat or pedestal supporting Shakyamuni is often square. On this rare example the legs are shaped like vases.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Buddha, bronze, private collection, photo by Oliver Hoare, same as before.

This figure in princely attire, possibly Maitreya or Avalokiteshvara, may have held a water pot by the neck or an open lotus in his hands. Alternatively this may be Shakyamuni. According to some specialists in Gandharan art, he may be depicted as a bodhisattva.

2nd-4th century, Gandhara, Buddha, bronze, photo by Oliver Hoare, same as before.

A rare example with an unusually tall lotus seat and a three-lobe mandorla.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, buddha, schist, private collection, photo on A.H. Wilkens

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Buddha, grey schist, private collection, photo on Artkhade

The halo behind the historical buddha’s head usually has the form of a solar disc (see enlargement on the above link).

2nd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection, photo on Artkhade

Early greco-buddhist sculptures of Shakyamuni often portray him in a rigid pose, with short legs and squarish feet, his long wavy hair gathered in a loose bun.

2nd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection, photo on artkhade as above.

Alternatively he has the thick curls and tight chignon which became the norm in Himalayan art.

Nepal, a few bodhisattvas (5)

13th century, Nepal, Maitreya, brass, at the Chahatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai (India), photo on Photodharma

The future buddha, identified by the stupa in his headdress and the ritual water pot in his left hand (kundika), wears a long garment incised with a floral and geometrical motif. His right hand does a gesture to bestow refuge and holds a small round object, perhaps a pearl.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Maitreya, gilt copper repoussé with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17347.

This late work blends the Malla style with Chinese features (design and draping of the lower garment).

Maitreya is identified by the wheel (almost like a flower) and the ritual water pot supported by the foliage fastened to his elbows, together with his hand gesture and the wheel incised on his right palm.

14th century, Nepal, Manjushri, gilt copper and stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A recurrent element on figures with a princely appearance cast during the Malla period is the lower garment with an incised hem just below the knee and the stone-inlaid shin adornments that go with it. As to Manjushri, he often has a half-vajra on his head and sometimes another on the hilt of his sword, as above. The Prajnaparamita sutra on the lotus to his left is topped with three pearls.

14th century, Nepal, Manjushri, gilt copper and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This one has a jewelled finial on his chignon.

16th-17th c., Nepal, Manjushri, c.a., 7 cm, Mayajala, 61938 har, Bonhams

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

Manjushri with one head and twelve hands, a form particularly worshipped in Nepal and related to the Mayajala tantra. His top hands placed above the head symbolise Mount Meru;  the two pairs on the side normally hold a sword and a book, a bow and an arrow (but there are variants); his main hands held palm outwards symbolise Vairocana; the pair immeditately below does the gesture of letting ambrosia fall into a bowl held in his lower hands.

Tibet, Maitreya – seated (19)

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, brass (with cold gold and pigments), at the Zhol village museum in Lhasa (Tibet), photo by Petra Mueller on WHAV.

Maitreya in his bodhisattva appearance, seated with his legs locked, his right hand holding a flower and doing the gesture of debate/teaching, the other hand holding the stem of a lotus that supports a ritual water pot (kundika).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo on Nagel

The ashoka tree branch on the lotus placed to his right is another attribute associated with this bodhisattva.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt metal with stone inlay, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

On this Nepalese-style work the ritual pot is placed on the lotus to his right and he does the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture with his hands. The lower rim of the base is decorated with a chased motif.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt metal, at the Newark Museum (USA).

One of a series of works depicting Maitreya seated with a leg pendent, doing the same gesture with his hands, his matted hair piled into a chignon topped with a finial, a stupa at the front instead of a crown.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt metal, private collection, photo on HAR

Seated in the ‘European fashion’, his hands as before but further apart, a dharma wheel, another of his attributes, decorating the front of his crown.