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Early Tibetan Gallery

 

 

Maitreya
Tibet. 14-15th Century.

Maitreya is commonly known as "The Buddha of the Future" and he awaits his calling to be the next Buddha in this world.
Maitreya is depicted commonly in two different seated positions, cross legged in the typical Buddha position and western-style, on a throne with legs pendant. The present figure belongs to the latter category, with the throne missing.

He has the typically broad face found in images from central Tibet in the 14-15th. century, as well as the slightly downcast look, another hallmark of the period.
He makes the gesture of preaching the Dharma (Buddhist teachings) as a sign of his future role and although in that future time he will be an ascetic, just like the Buddha Shakyamuni, he wears a royal crown, ornaments and robes as he resides in a paradise realm until his time. His robes flare outwards to cover some of the awkwardness of his posture on the throne. As Tibetans followed much of the Gupta Indian style of portraying figures, his robes cling diaphanously to his legs, heightening the need for the throne to balance the uneasy pose he adopts.

On the rear of the image he has a crescent moon motif on the shoulder section of his upper garment which possibly has a tantric reference here.


Height 40cm

 

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