Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future
India (Jammu and Kashmir) or Pakistan (Swat Valley)
Bronze inlaid with silver
H. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Richard Benedek, 1978
The messianic savior Maitreya is identified by the flask he holds in his lower hand. He is seated in a yogic posture on a double-lotus cushion and extends spiritual protection to believers with his raised hand, here displayed with the palm facing inwards, not outwards as is conventional. This icon has a superbly preserved metal surface, complete with silver inlay on the eyes and forehead mark (urna). The raised ornamentation reflects an awareness of Gupta design. The figure and base were cast separately, and the lotus base is inscribed on the reverse with a donor dedication.