2. Maitreya Bodhisattva
Gilt bronze with inset semi-precious stones and pigment
Height: 10-3/4 inches (27.3 cm)
The future Buddha Maitreya is portrayed as a richly decorated bodhisattva. He sits on a throne in bhadrasana, the posture of benevolence, with both legs pendant, resting on a small support. Both hands are held in front of the chest in dharmachakrapravartana mudra, which represents the turning of the Wheel of Law. Maitreya's attributes are two lotus stems over his shoulders, which support a water pot on the bodhisattva's right and an opening lotus on the left. A stupa is also located at the top of the chignon of hair.
The density of decoration is typical of fifteenth-century Tibetan bronzes. Maitreya is surrounded by a swirling scarf, which suggests the royal scarves worn in antiquity by the kings of the Sassanian Dynasty.
Detail: alternate view