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Bodhisattva Maitreya, 3rd-4th century

Pakistan: Ancient Gandhara, 200-399
Schist
22-1/4 x 12-1/2 in. (56.5 x 31.8 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
M.2010.1.79.S
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

This well-preserved sculpture of a seated Maitreya depicts the future Buddha preaching in the Tusita Heaven before his final appearance and enlightenment on earth. He is seated with his ankles crossed, typical of Maitreya imagery, and with his hands in the darmachakrapravartanamudra, or turning the wheel of the law gesture. The two figures that flank Maitreya are likely the patron of the sculpture and her preceptor, a monk.


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