Anonymous - Maitreya
According to tradition, after five thousand years, Buddha Shakyamuni will be followed by Buddha Maitreya, whose arrival will commence a new era of happiness. In the meantime, he dwells as a Bodhisattva in the paradise of Tushita. He sits in a half-lotus position and holds his hands in a gesture that symbolises turning the Wheel of the Law. With two fingers on both of his hands, he holds the stalks of lotus flowers, atop which rest the Teaching and an amphora with nectar. The Buddha will set the Wheel of the Law into motion again, and the amphora with nectar will mark the way to liberation. The central figure is surrounded by seated lamas, who can be identified by means of small golden inscriptions in Tibetan script. On the bottom of the thangka, Vaishravana, the guardian of the North and treasures, rides a lion.
measurements: height 78 cm
width 54 cm
material: cotton
technique: painted in colors and gold
inventory number: Vm 5639
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art